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This journal is about raising identical twins.
Sixty Fourth MonthPrevious entries
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Wednesday, Nov 6, 2002 (5y+3m)The twins are 5.25 years old. Daddy left for work early before the twins were up. The twins went to school as usual.
We asked the twins to repeat the Mandarin they learned from school. When they made mistakes, we jokingly said their wrong accent sounded very funny. Joanne laughed along with us. Jasmine, on the other hand, felt so humiliated that she cried emotionally. Jasmine was rather proud of her readings and school works. We learned that we could not point out her mistakes too bluntly because any criticism hurt her pride too much.
We stayed over at Hing's place again tonight.
Thursday, Nov 7, 2002 (5y+3m+1d)The twins went to school as usual. The storm hit our area starting in the afternoon. It was the first rain of the season. Traffic was terrible in rush hours because of flooded road and traffic accident everywhere. The hardwood floor got another coats of finish today. We couldn't stay home because the finish was still wet, besides the solvent fume was not good for health. We stayed over at Hing's place again.
Friday, Nov 8, 2002 (5y+3m+2d)The twins went to school as usual. They said they brought their Minnie Mouse umbrella to school. The storm continued. After the oil and grease on the roads were washed off in the first day of rain, traffic condition was much better than yesterday.
The floor finish was dried enough for us to move back to our home after 3 nights away from home.
Saturday, Nov 9, 2002 (5y+3m+3d)We hired a painting company to do the exterior painting. The contractors came to power-wash the exterior walls early in the morning. They made quite a lot of noises. However, the twins slept through the whole thing. They didn't get up until the contractors had left.
The hardwood floor finishing process last week marred the baseboards along the wall. Our contractors came in and spent a whole day to touch up the paint on the baseboards.
We took Jasmine to see her eye doctor for her regular check up. Her eyes were straight after her surgery in April. However the doctor said her vision was getting worse because of her astigmatism. Jasmine refused to wear her eyeglasses after her surgery because she said she didn't have cross-eyes anymore. The doctor said she needed the glasses because her vision dropped below 20/70. For young children, the eyesight should be at least 20/30. Instead of forcing Jasmine to listen to us, I asked her to listen to the doctor carefully. When the doctor told her to wear her glasses, Jasmine showed no objection.
Daddy returned home to supervise the contractors. Mommy took the twins to attend Ken and Emily's new daughter ginger & eggs banquet. The twins were rather confused when we told them they would see their new cousin today. They only knew they had Cousin Natalie and Cousin Matthew.
Sunday, Nov 10, 2002 (5y+3m+4d)We had lunch at the Chinese Muslim restaurant. We went to LaserLand to check out the latest electronics. We did some shopping at Costco. The twins wanted to buy the Powerpuff Girls Movie on DVD. We refused because that cartoon promotes violence. Since the violent main characters are at the same age as our twins, the twins would be especially vulnerable to the bad influence.
We also went shopping for some shelving parts at Home Depot. Daddy spent the evening installing some shelves in our closet.
Monday, Nov 11, 2002 (5y+3m+5d)It is Veteran's day holiday. It is a holiday for schools and banks. The twins stayed home. But Daddy had to go to work.
Daddy went to a farewell lunch for a co-worker at work. Over 60 people showed up to say goodbye. It was probably the largest farewell events in the company. He was one of the workhorses who helped to start the company. After 9 years of service, he was laid off probably due to office politics. Everyone knew he was a dedicated employee who worked overtime all the time. He got divorced last year probably because he spent more time at work than at home. The unexpected move of the new management had a big impact on the morale among the employees. If a hardworking employee was not appreciated, then everyone lost confidence in the management team.
The contractors continued to paint the exterior of our house. More works were done inside too.
Tuesday, Nov 12, 2002 (5y+3m+6d)The twins went to school as usual.
The contractors finished the exterior painting. The work was done quite professionally. However, the color combination we picked didn't turn out to my liking. The overall color effect on the house was quite different from what appeared on the color palette. It was not too bad, but I would prefer higher contrast between the walls and the trims. We may choose a different color combination next time.
Wednesday, Nov 13, 2002 (5y+3m+7d)The twins went to school as usual.
Our remodeling project is reaching the final phase. We have new carpet put in today in all the rooms upstairs. The hardwood floor downstairs will get the final coat of finish this Saturday.
All the dust and dirt from the remodeling went away with the old carpet. The house looks livable now, though the furniture is not at the right place yet. The rooms that we occupied for the last three months still need some new baseboard. Since we packed a whole house-full of stuffs into the two rooms, the rooms had been off limit to the contractors. Now the master bedroom is almost completed with new carpets, we spent the evening moving all our stuffs from our temporary bedrooms into the master bedroom. The two rooms are now empty enough for the contractors to replace the baseboards. The twins helped us to move the lighter stuffs.
Mommy fell sick with flu symptoms. Since the project could not wait, she worked hard moving stuffs despite the sickness.
Thursday, Nov 14, 2002 (5y+3m+8d)The twins went to school as usual.
The mirrors and shower doors went up in the bathrooms. Shades were put on the windows.
Mommy was still sick. When Jasmine called daddy at work, I asked her if she could take care of mommy when she was sick. Jasmine said she was taking care of mommy and she had been very obedient today.
Friday, Nov 15, 2002 (5y+3m+9d)The twins went to school as usual.
Our remodeling project was finishing up. Only minor cleanup and patch up work were left except the final coat of finish on the hardwood floor. Mommy found the contractors too sloppy and preferred to do some of the more delicate work on our own. It is kind of silly to pay the contractors for the work we do.
Daddy spent the evening installing tissue racks, towel racks etc. to the bathrooms. The twins fought to help daddy with the installation. We continued with more work after we sent the twins to bed.
Daddy installed light fixtures to the bathrooms. Mommy was helping to install hardware on the doors. It was past 2am when we went to bed.
Saturday, Nov 16, 2002 (5y+3m+10d)Jasmine got into our bed at 5am in the morning. She complained she hurt her knee. We moved the furniture around two days ago after the carpet was put in. I wondered if she bumped into something in the dark on her way to our room. However at 5am, I didn't bother to find out how she got hurt. I massaged her knee for awhile and put her back into her bed. From 2am to 5am was only 3 hours of sleep; I got back to sleep right away. I didn't know if the twins went back to sleep or not.
We got up at 9am and cleaned up the downstairs for the contractors to put on the last coat of finish on the floor. We didn't wake the twins so that they wouldn't slow us down. Jasmine got up after 10:30am. She probably was awoken by the noise when the contractors buffed the floor. Joanne refused to wake up complaining that she was very tired. We managed to get them out of bed. Joanne got into a tantrum. She cried on anything that was not to her liking. We were kind of in a hurry because we must get out of the house to let the contractors apply the coating on the floor.
We went out to lunch. The twins asked for angel's hair (thin pasta) for lunch. We went to two Italian restaurants, but both were not open for lunch on weekends. We finally settled with Marie Callendar's. We ordered pasta for the twins, but angel's hair was not on the menu. I joked with Joanne. I said if she called her name backward, it sounded like Angel. So when she couldn't get angel's hair, she could eat Joanne's hair if she wanted. They didn't eat much. Joanne stopped after the soup. She complained that she was not feeling well even before she started on the pasta. She looked dazed the whole morning. Given that she was so moody all day and she lost her appetite, we worried that she might have caught mommy's flu.
Daddy returned to the office to work overtime after lunch. Joanne fell asleep on the way home after lunch. Mommy let her sleep in the car for two hours while she supervised the contractors. When Joanne woke up, she was a happy baby as usual. She even called daddy to say she was a good girl now. It was a relief to know that she was not getting sick. She was just grumpy because she needed more sleep. They were in bed for over 12 hours last night. That made us wonder what happened in their room last night. We were so tired last night that we didn't know anything. They must have got up and played in their room before or after Jasmine came to us complaining about her knee. Jasmine might have hurt her knee during their horseplay, not bumping into things as I had thought.
Mommy took the twins to Aunt Tina's place. We could not let them back in our house until the floor coating was totally dry. The contractors said the last coat was extra thick and it would take much longer to dry than the last two times. Since it was on the weekend this time, we didn't need to bother Hing and Lucy again. We would leave the twins with Aunt Tina this time. Anyway, the twins enjoyed the company of their Cousin Natalie.
Mommy went to fix her hair. Daddy joined mommy for dinner past 9pm. We first stopped by the new Cheesecake Factory Restaurant at Valleyfair mall. We tried to get a table for two. The hostess said the wait was two-and-a-half hours. They could only take down our names. We needed to return an hour later to get a pager. We would then be paged when the table was available. A few years ago when we were at South Coast Plaza in Southern California, we noticed the same phenomenon. The branch at Union Square in San Francisco was in similar situation. Now this new branch in the south bay was no difference. It was just unbelievable that given such economic conditions, a restaurant could still be so crowded after 9pm. I told my wife that even if their food could make people live forever, I would be starved to death before getting a table. We dined elsewhere.
We returned home despite the floor was still wet. We entered through the garage, and then we straddled over the floor into one of the bedroom. We kind of climbed between the bedroom and the bedroom like Spiderman. We managed to spend the night at home without touching the wet floor.
Sunday, Nov 17, 2002 (5y+3m+11d)We picked up the twins from Aunt Tina. We talked about going to see the second installment of the Harry Potter movie. But then we decided that it would be too crowded in the first week of debut. We had dim sum lunch together before we parted our way.
We took the twins to checkout the Santana Row community complex across from Valleyfair mall. The shopping center there was tailored to the affluent shoppers. Almost all the stores there were of European brand names such as Gucci, Burberry etc. Given the new addition to Valleyfair mall already brought in other stores such as Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, etc., almost all brand names stores could now be found within the two city blocks area. Shoppers used to go to San Francisco for those brand names. It only makes sense to bring those stores to where the money is. There were countless multi-millionaires in the Silicon Valley before the dot-com bubble burst. If they had done all these three years ago, they would have made a lot of money. But they may have trouble keeping good business under the current economic conditions. They had no trouble attracting many window-shoppers. However, not too many people took out their wallet.
We had dinner before returning home. The floor at home was mostly dry. At least the area between the bedroom and the bathroom was dry enough that no mark was left when we walked on it. We cover the area with a towel and told the twins that the floor was still wet and they could only step on the towel if they need to go to the bathroom. It worked out fine for another night. All four of us slept together.
Monday, Nov 18, 2002 (5y+3m+12d)Jasmine complained that both daddy and Joanne snored too loudly. And she also complained that she was not getting her share of the comforter in the middle of the night.
The twins went to school as usual. When they returned home, the floor was dry enough that we extended the "toweled" area to connect to the stairs. Since the upstairs were all carpeted, half the house was made available once the connection was made. The twins returned to their normal activities except that they could not go downstairs. Daddy bought take-out dinner home, because the kitchen was not accessible yet.
Tuesday, Nov 19, 2002 (5y+3m+13d)Daddy took a few hours off from work and stayed home in the morning. There were many things at home needed attention that mommy my presence while she took the twins to school. Window shades were installed in the morning. Our contractors also came to finish up. They put up the last couple of lamps. They put caulking to fill all the gaps around the house. They also help us move all our furniture from the garage back into the house. Basically the project was completed as soon as the final inspection by the city was completed.
The twins went to school as usual. Tuesday school ran on an early schedule.
Daddy went to work before lunchtime, and worked late into the evening to make up the hour. The twins were all asleep when I came home.
Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 (5y+3m+14d)The city inspector came to do the final inspection on our remodeling project. Just two minor changes were needed to pass the inspection.
The twins went to school as usual.
Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 (5y+3m+15d)The twins went to school as usual.
We invited Grandma Chui to our house for dinner. We wanted her to see the result of the remodeling project. Aunt Elaine had other commitment, so she didn't come.
Friday, Nov 22, 2002 (5y+3m+16d)The twins went to school as usual.
Mommy invited a playgroup to our house after school. The twins had been asking for this for months now. Every time after they visited one of their classmates' home, they asked us when would be their turn to invite their friends over to our house. Our house was on construction for the past three months. The twins were able to invite their classmates over finally.
The twins and their classmates went into a bedroom and locked the door. Some of their classmates brought their younger siblings for the visit. The kids just wanted to lock out the small kids from their playgroup.
Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 (5y+3m+17d)Mommy went shopping in the morning while daddy stayed home with the kids. It was a Macy's pre-Thanksgiving sales. A friend of hers who worked at Macy's before said this sale is the best in the whole year. Mommy went early in the morning to catch the 4 hours early bird special discount. Lucy also gave her a 20% off Friends and Family discount coupon. Mommy said that most of the items she bought were at below 50% after all three discounts compounded together. Mommy said her arms were sore after carrying the shopping bags.
Mommy returned just in time for a lunch appointment with our neighbor. Our neighbor invited us and two other families to their house for lunch. They made Malaysian Curry La Sa and rice noodles. The twins played with the neighbor's daughter Josephine after lunch while the adults sat around to chat.
All the kids later went to park. The twins rode their bikes there.
We went to the farewell dinner gathering for Lil'n'Wil. William worked in China most of the time. He had to travel a lot. They decided to move back to Hong Kong to eliminate the traveling. It was a bald move for them because they need to sell the house instead of maintaining it at long distance. There were over 30 people at the dinner.
After dinner, the whole group came to our house for dessert. Most of our friends wanted to see the outcome of our remodeling project. They requested this opportunity to do a house warming party for us.
The boys brought their own GameCube to entertain themselves. (We told them up front, we had no video game, so they were on their own.) The twins got together with the girls and they locked themselves in one of the bedrooms. Joanne posted a sign on the door that said, "No boy's allowed." The twins got tied after a while. They asked daddy to tuck them into bed while the party went on without them. The guests left past midnight.
Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 (5y+3m+18d)We slept in. When the twins came to our room in the morning, we discussed the sign Joanne posted on the door last night. Joanne said that when the sign was up, even daddy could not come into their room. Daddy argued that daddy was no longer a boy, so the sign didn't apply to men. Joanne changed the sign to say, "No man's allowed."
Mommy went grocery shopping while daddy stayed home with the kids. We invited Lucy and Hing over for lunch over a hot pot. We took our time; we didn't finish lunch until after 3pm. After lunch, mommy went shopping with Lucy. They went back to Macy's again to see if there was more stuff on sale. Mommy found some items went to a lower price, she was able to get a credit by just showing her receipts from yesterday. Lucy joked that mommy got paid shopping at a higher rate than some working people got.
Two dads and the kids went to a park in Mountain View. It was Hing and Lucy's favorite park for Terence because the playground was very well padded for safety. Our twins liked the park a lot too because of many unusual play structures in the playground. We went home when it got too dark. We arrived home before 6pm. We watched some TV with the kids while waiting for the mommies to come home. Lucy and Hing stayed for dinner before returning home.
Monday, Nov 25, 2002 (5y+3m+19d)The twins went to school as usual. They visited the doctor after school. Joanne took a blood test to check if her medication had any side effect. She later told daddy that she didn't cry. She just said "Ouch" when the needle poked into her arm. Mommy said Joanne wanted to watch the whole blood drawing procedure. She even commented on the redness of her own blood. The nurses at the clinic were amazed about this kid who was so brave in the blood test.
Mommy asked the nurse to repeat the TB skin test on Jasmine. Joanne told daddy Jasmine cried. Jasmine said she cried only just a little.
Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 (5y+3m+20d)The twins went to school as usual on an early Tuesday schedule.
Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 (5y+3m+21d)It was the eve of Thanksgiving. There was no school today.
Mommy took Jasmine to the doctors to read the result of her skin test. It came out negative. The result was quite obvious because they couldn't find where they poked the hole in the arm. That was a relief for us because we didn't want the hassle for Jasmine to take the medication like Joanne did.
The twins followed mom to pick up the Honeybaked ham. They went grocery shopping for tomorrow's thanksgiving dinner. They also went to Costco. They told daddy on the phone that they bought the DVD for "Ice Age".
We invited Lil and Wil over for dinner. They will be leaving for Hong Kong next week.
Thursday, Nov 28, 2002 (5y+3m+22d)It was the Thanksgiving Holiday.
Aunt Tina, Uncle Ivan, and Cousin Natalie stopped by for a few hours around lunchtime before going to the thanksgiving dinner with Ivan's family. Aunt Jun also came and left. Grandma Ling and grandpa came to our house early to help to set up the party. By late afternoon, friends and families arrived.
My cousin Allen and family came from Los Angeles to stay over the weekend. They visited us at the end of summer just couple months ago. They saw our house when it was being remodeled. They were eager to see the result of our project. This time Allen brought his mom to visit my mom before she returns to Hong Kong. The twins looked forward to their cousins Amanda and Andric for days now. They started playing together as soon as they stepped in the door.
Mommy's local relatives all came to the party except her first uncle who was out of town. There were over 30 guests in the party. The Honey Baked ham was picked up yesterday. The turkey was picked up just an hour before dinner starts. It was still hot when it came home. Both main courses were well received. The turkey was so tender, juicy and tasty that even Grandma Ling who was usually picky and avoid meat dishes had several pieces. The ham was a little on the salty side, but it went fast too.
The Thanksgiving dinner was doubled as our house warming party too. Many of our relatives saw our house for the first time. Though only a few saw it before the remodeling, but almost everyone liked the outcome of the project. They praised mommy for her choice of material and design.
At the end of the party, Aunt Elaine took Grandma Chui and Allen's mom home. The two elders had not seen each other for about 5 years. They had a lot to chat about for the rest of the night. Allen and his family stayed with us.
Friday, Nov 29, 2002 (5y+3m+23d)It was still a holiday on the day after Thanksgiving. We all slept in late. We had dimsum for lunch. We then went to FAO toy store in San Francisco. We learned that the FAO in San Diego and LA (south coast plaza) were both out of business. Andric missed the toy store; hence they made sure it is in the itinerary. The Union Square area was so crowded that we thought that we were back in Hong Kong. We have to wait in line to enter the FAO store. It was dark when we came out. We also let the kids to see the Mickey Mouse Christmas decoration in the Macy's display windows. The street was so packed with people that we were blocking the traffic. We decided to go to dinner early in the Richmond district. We went home early.
Saturday, Nov 30, 2002 (5y+3m+24d)Allen and Ivy went out to the mall with Grandma Chui and Aunt Elaine. We had visitors today, so we would stay home. We offered to babysit Amanda and Andric too. Actually the kids preferred to stay with us instead of going to the mall.
The twins' ex-classmate Rachel and her family came to visit. Kioko, Miki and JR came to visit too. We had pasta for lunch and we also enjoyed some leftover ham from Thursday. The boys and girls played separately. Towards the end, they had fun with the swinging bench in the patio. The girls pushed the boys on the swing for sometimes. When the girls requested their turn to be pushed, the boys just came off the swing and ran away. The kids also spent some time picking oranges from the tree in the backyard. Rachel's family left at around 3pm and Kioko's family stayed till about 5pm.
I went out to the supermarket to pick up some crabs, fish and clams. We had a big seafood dinner at home when Allen and party returned.
Sunday, Dec 1, 2002 (5y+3m+25d)We went out to have dimsum for lunch. Allen and family left for LA after lunch. We did some shopping before returning home. The twins wanted to take a nap, mommy napped with them too. Daddy went out again to shop for some gas logs for the fireplace. The twins didn't get up until almost 7pm.
Mommy cooked rice porridge with the turkey bones and left over. It was a simple but delicious meal.
The twins said they missed Amanda. They wanted to call her on the phone.
Monday, Dec 2, 2002 (5y+3m+26d)Daddy went back to work. The twins went to school. Everything returned to normal after the long weekend.
Three classmates came to visit the twins after school. They played and did their homework together.
Tuesday, Dec 3, 2002 (5y+3m+27d)The twins went to school as usual. Tuesday school runs on an early schedule.
Mommy took the twins to one of their classmates' home. The kids played together. The moms exchanged their cooking skill. They made and cooked some pot stickers. They made enough to bring some home to daddy. They planned to get together every Tuesday for a culinary party.
In the evening, Jasmine finished her reading first. When it was Joanne's turn, Joanne paused a lot at every other word. She still needed to slow down to figure out the pronunciation of each word. Jasmine was impatient on the side and kept prompting ahead of Joanne. Mommy told Jasmine that she knew she could read faster than Joanne could, but Joanne needed to practice reading on her own with no interference. Jasmine couldn't keep quiet. Jasmine was proud of herself and was expecting praise because she could read so well. But instead, daddy sternly said, "Stop!" The reprimand resulted in a crying Jasmine. At bedtime, Jasmine would not let daddy give her a goodnight kiss.
Wednesday, Dec 4, 2002 (5y+3m+28d)The twins went to school as usual.
Jasmine left a blanket on the floor behind her. Joanne picked it up and put back into the bedroom. Jasmine turned around to find it missing. She turned into a tearful tantrum. Daddy helped her find the blanket to stop her crying. She ran to Joanne and hit her for revenge. That started the other girl crying. Daddy forced Jasmine to apologize. But it still took awhile for Joanne to stop crying. Jasmine was usually very nice to Joanne. She must be in a very bad mood today.
Thursday, Dec 5, 2002 (5y+3m+29d)The twins went to school as usual.
Friday, Dec 6, 2002 (5y+4m)The twins are five and a third year old today.
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started on Dec 9, 2002