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This journal is about raising identical twins.
Sixty Sixth MonthPrevious entries
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Monday, Jan 6, 2003 (5y+5m)The twins are 65 month old today.
Joanne woke us up early in the morning. She got a bloody nose. Mommy helped her clean up. Few drops of blood stained the carpet too. She said Jasmine accidentally hit her nose when they were fighting. The twins could be in bad mood when they were disturbed in their sleep. Jasmine might be swinging her arms or kicking at Joanne while half asleep. Joanne's nose bleeds very easily probably because she picks it too much.
The twins returned to school as usual after a two-week long winter break.
When Daddy came home from work, Joanne ran to daddy and said that she didn't have any homework, but Jasmine did. When asked why, she turned to Jasmine dancing and said in a teasing tone of voice, "Because I am special!" Of course Jasmine didn't agree. Mommy said Joanne's teacher returned from her trip late and didn't prepare the homework. Joanne should get her homework on the next day.
Tuesday, Jan 7, 2003 (5y+5m+1d)School runs on an early schedule on Tuesdays. Mommy tried to save time by bringing two cups of milk to the twins in bed. It was a big mistake. Jasmine spilt it on her bed. Jasmine cried because mommy was mad at her for the accident. In my opinion, it was mommy's fault because kids are clumsy when they just get up from bed. Poor Jasmine was set up for the accident!
They went to school as usual. After school, they went to Annette's home where the moms had their weekly culinary gathering. As predicted, Joanne received her homework today. She just spread them all over the table.
The developed photos from the Disneyland trip arrived. The twins inserted the pictures into their Princesses Autograph books. Since we didn't buy them the autograph books until they saw Annette had one in the second half of the trip, only half of the character photos matched the signatures in their books. Jasmine lost interest after she matched all the signatures. She didn't even care about Minnie's, Mickey's and Snow White's photos which were taken before they had the books. She wanted daddy to insert the remaining photos into her book. Joanne insisted that she didn't need help. However, she stopped after matching only a few. Instead of leaving all the photos on the table, daddy put the photos into Joanne's book too. She might be unhappy later when she found out that it was all done for her.
They got more than one photo with Belle but only one Belle's signature in the book. Joanne said that because she had a Belle costume for Halloween, she could sign Belle's name for Jasmine. Jasmine didn't want it, so Joanne signed Belle's name on her own book. She copied Belle's signature in cursive. She later asked daddy to write Max in cursive, so that she could fake Goofy's son's autograph next to his photo too. She probably figured that all the autographs they got were faked to start with because the costumed characters were not the "real" cartoon characters. We were often lucky to be at the right place at the right time to get most signatures without much waiting. But the twins waited in line for over two hours for Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore's signatures. If we knew the twins wouldn't care who signed the autographs, we shouldn't have waited in line to get them! They could have signed them all on their own and spent the saved time riding roller coasters!
Wednesday, Jan 8, 2003 (5y+5m+2d)The twins went to school as usual.
Jasmine said she had finished her homework already. She said Joanne got much more homework than she got and she had not finished yet. Daddy worked late today. The twins were getting ready for bed when I came home. I tucked them in bed and gave them the goodnight kiss.
Thursday, Jan 9, 2003 (5y+5m+3d)Daddy went to work early before the twins woke up. The twins went to school as usual.
Joanne weighed 37 lb.; Jasmine weighed 35.5 lb. They ate about the same amount. We didn't know why Joanne was so much heavier.
Mommy and twins soaked in the bathtub together. We had a deep whirlpool type bathtub. The twins could fit easily at the other end of the tub if mommy bent her knees. If the tub was full, the water could reach above their chin level while sitting. The twins used the tub as their mini swimming pool. They held their breath, dunked their heads under water and blew bubbles. Joanne told mommy not to laugh. She said that was how she became a mermaid in her dream. They played saving the drowned, just like Ariel saved Prince Eric in the "Little Mermaid" movie. One twin would hold her breath lying limply under water, the other twin grabbed and pulled the "drowned" baby out of water. They took turns switching roles. On one hand, they were practicing lifesaving skills. On the other hand, they invented a very dangerous game because they simply didn't have the strength to lift each other. While exerting, they might slip and fall into the water. We told the twins not to play the game. But since we would be present whenever they were in water. We didn't insist.
Friday, Jan 10, 2003 (5y+5m+4d)The twins went to school as usual.
The twins' classmates, Annette, Katherine, Michael, Kimberley (and her cousin) came to our home after school. The adults chatted in the kitchen while preparing dinner. The kids were playing on their own. They made a lot of noise and the kids were crying one after another. Apparently, they were forming groups while playing, whoever got excluded from the group would become upset and cry because of the isolation.
When I tucked the twins in bed, they asked daddy not to go to work too early because they wanted to kiss me goodbye in the morning. I told them they could also get up early before daddy went to work. When I reminded them that it would be Saturday tomorrow, they were happy.
Saturday, Jan 11, 2003 (5y+5m+5d)The twins were 5 year, 5 month and 5 day old. Mommy got up early and went to a cooking class to learn how to make souffle, one of her favorite dessert. Daddy and twins slept in until late morning. I didn't wake up until the twins came to look for mommy. They ended up fighting for mommy's vacant spot on the bed. We climbed out of bed when the twins asked for breakfast. We stayed home all day.
We invited Valerie and her family over for dinner. We invited Claire and her family too, but she couldn't come because of diarrhea. The twins played with Valerie while the adults chatted. The kids watched the "Stuart Little 2" DVD before dinner.
Mommy made shrimp souffle as appetizer. No one said much, but I believed it was a failed attempt. Later at night, Valerie wanted to watch "Barbie as Rupunsel" on DVD. She didn't have the DVD at home, but she have watched it twice before at her friend's house. The twins watched it many times before, but they didn't mind watching again. Since they started the movie late, it was pretty late when the movie ended. Valerie asked if she could watch it over again. The twins were lying half-asleep on the sofa. We put the twins in bed shortly after the guests left.
Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 (5y+5m+6d)The twins were having breakfast in the kitchen. Jasmine spilled Joanne's cup of milk on the table, the chair and floor. When mommy was mad at her, she blamed on Joanne. She said Joanne didn't finish her milk and let the cup on the table. Mommy sent them both to the "thinking chairs". "Thinking Chair" is where the characters in the "Blue's Clues" TV show go when they use their brainpower to solve the puzzles according to Blue's 3 clues. To us, "thinking chair" is a chair in the bathroom where the twins go when we want them to think about what they did wrong. They first both sat next to each other. Instead of "thinking", they were having fun chatting. Mommy sent Joanne to the bathroom downstairs.
When they were quietly sitting there, daddy paid them each a visit to help them review what went wrong. I helped Jasmine realize that the cup could sit on the table forever if she didn't spill it. The fact that Joanne left it there was not an excuse to spill it. Jasmine sat on the thinking chair waiting for mommy to issue the release.
On the other hand, Joanne realized that she should have finished her milk instead of leaving it on the table. As soon as Joanne came up with what to say, she ran to mommy to tell her what she did wrong. I hinted to Jasmine that she would be released from the thinking chair if she would do the same.
We could tell a difference in their personality. Jasmine follows orders. If she were ordered to sit on the thinking chair, she would stay there all day. Joanne would find her way out of it instead. Mommy prefers kids to be obedient, so that they would be under control easily. However, I disagree. I always believe a wild child have better potential to grow up as a more successful adult. If everyone can only follow rules and instructions, creativity will die. There will be no leader, no explorer and no inventor in the world. Actually I gained this wisdom by observing what happened to my high school friends. Some of those "bad" kids in our high school class who always broke the rules, caused troubles are now famous architects, musicians, CEOs of self-started companies etc. Those obedient kids like us turned out to be regular people, working for large firm seeking a stable job etc. I guess the defiance to break the rules is an important trait to help breaking through confinements and limitations in society.
We visited grandma in the afternoon. She was on fast getting ready for a blood test tomorrow. So we didn't ask her out to lunch. Aunt Elaine gave the twins couple of Barbie's homework books, new dresses, and a pair of princess crowns. The twins couldn't wait to use all of their new gifts.
Monday, Jan 13, 2003 (5y+5m+7d)Daddy got up at dawn. When I passed by the twins' bedroom, I heard them talking. I went in and ask why they were awake so early. They replied with the same question to me. I told them that I needed to take the minivan to the body shop for repair before going to work. I asked them to get back to sleep. They woke up early because they went to bed early last night. Another reason was that the window shade was not put down properly last night and a beam of sunlight shone on Jasmine's face in the morning.
They went to school as usual. Of course, they wore the new dresses Aunt Elaine gave them.
Tuesday, Jan 14, 2003 (5y+5m+8d)The twins went to school as usual. Tuesday school runs on an early schedule. When the kids got out of school early, the moms get together for their culinary party. Today, they made Chinese pork buns.
We invited our neighbor Mr. Phang and family over for dinner. It was a farewell dinner for their family. They are leaving in a few days for good. Mr. Phang is a Malaysian government official. He was here on an assignment. The assignment terminated early and he was sent home to his country. His eldest daughter goes to college at CalPoly. When his family returns to Malaysia, they have to leave her behind. We would miss a good neighbor. The twins would miss Stephanie, Josephine and Daniel who baby-sat them on many occasions. After dinner, we showed them some video footage we taped in Disneyland and our recent snow trip to Reno.
Wednesday, Jan 15, 2003 (5y+5m+9d)It was just a regular day. The twins went to school as usual. The twins were busy doing the Barbie's homework books from Aunt Elaine. Jasmine had already finished her whole book in just three days. Joanne is still working on hers.
Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 (5y+5m+10d)Daddy had to go to work early to give a presentation to the co-workers in Israel via the Internet. Due to the time-zone difference, the meeting was set at an early hour. I left home at dawn. Jasmine missed daddy because she didn't get to kiss daddy in the morning. She tried to call daddy to tell daddy, but daddy was in the early meeting.
The twins went to Annette's house after school. They also watched Annette took her piano lesson. Annette's parents just bought a piano recently for the kids' lesson.
Friday, Jan 17, 2003 (5y+5m+11d)The twins went to school as usual.
Lillian is back from Hong Kong. She came back to sell her house. She paid us a visit. The twins enjoyed playing with her and they requested to be lifted high from the floor. Poor Lillian might have a sore back afterwards because the twins were over 35 lbs. each.
Saturday, Jan 18, 2003 (5y+5m+12d)We went out to lunch with Grandma Chui. After lunch, we went to the piano store. The twins picked their favorite. I wished shopping were that easy. We were still juggling among brand names, features, and most importantly the price.
Sunday, Jan 19, 2003 (5y+5m+13d)Winnie, Simon and Samantha from San Francisco came to our house for lunch. It was their first visit to our new home. Sharleen dropped off Claire with us because she served in a judge panel for a competition in her Chinese school. The four kids played together and they took turn riding bicycles in the backyard. Samantha and family left at around 3pm because they wanted to see the new shopping mall at Santana Row before returning to San Francisco. Claire stayed and played with the twins until dinnertime.
Joanne wrapped her legs with a blanket and let one end hang out like a tail. She said that she had turned into a mermaid. Without legs, she was like a fish out of water. She was patient enough to just sit idle on the bed for quite a while. She wanted daddy to take her pictures. Jasmine didn't want to become a mermaid. She'd rather run around.
Monday, Jan 20, 2003 (5y+5m+14d)A new neighbor moved in next door. A huge truck stopped in front of the house since early morning. We didn't bother them because they were busy moving stuff.
The twins went to school as usual.
Daddy worked overtime. Jasmine called daddy saying she wanted to kiss me good night. It was early in the morning when I came home. As I entered the bedroom, Jasmine came in after me. She wanted the good night kiss when the noise woke her up. I tucked her in bed and kissed her goodnight. Joanne slept like a log.
Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 (5y+5m+15d)The first thing the twins did out of bed was to visit Polly Pocket on the Internet. I didn't know where they learned about the URL, mostly likely from TV commercial. Mommy was mad because Tuesday's school runs on an early schedule and they just didn't have time for computer before washing up, getting dressed and breakfast.
As we were leaving the house, the next door neighbor Gwenette came to greet us. She and her husband Joe were originally from Southern California. They moved to Minnesota for awhile and now they are back to California. We could tell they were from harsh cold climate because she only wore a sleeveless shirt while my wife and I both had our jackets on. We heard from their landlord that Gwenette works in the Stanford Hospital and her husband stays home.
The twins went to school as usual. Jasmine called daddy at 6pm. She wanted to make sure daddy wouldn't stay at work as late as yesterday.
The moms had their weekly culinary gathering on Tuesday. It took place at our house this week. Mommy did Cantonese style slow cooked soup with recipe designed for women consumption. Daddy didn't benefit from the outcome of today's cooking. The kids (the twins, Annette, Michael and Katherine) had great time playing together. Annette's young brother entertained himself because the older kids didn't play with him. Jasmine went to bed early. She looked exhausted. We worry that she may be getting sick. Joanne was energetic. We had to force her to go to bed.
Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 (5y+5m+16d)The twins went to school as usual.
Thursday, Jan 23, 2003 (5y+5m+17d)The twins went to school as usual.
We were considering the Yamaha DC2A piano. I was still struggling with the decision because of the price. Mommy went ahead and placed the order. She said I told her to go ahead. I must be talking in my sleep. If I have not made up my mind, how could I have said yes to her? Since we all liked the piano and the only thing blocking the decision was the price, there should be no buyer remorse. Because the price was rather steep, we had to justify to ourselves that the purchase was an investment. I hope the twins would learn music diligently and make the investment worth while.
Friday, Jan 24, 2003 (5y+5m+18d)The twins went to school as usual.
The piano was delivered before the twins returned home from school.
We thought Jasmine was getting sick just a few days ago. However, she turned out fine, but Joanne got a runny nose today. Mommy said some kids at school were sick and she must have caught a bug from school.
Saturday, Jan 25, 2003 (5y+5m+19d)We stayed home all day. We purchased a pair of scooters back in December of 2001. We have been hiding them in the garage because the twins were too young to ride them. We told the twins back then that they could ride them when they are five years old. The twins asked for the scooters today. I was concerned about safety because scooters caused many injuries. The twins insisted that they knew how to do it because they had ridden on their friends' scooters before. They said they remembered the scooters were pink because they picked the color themselves. When I opened the boxes, the scooters were indeed pink. I was amazed that they remembered so well. I gave them some instructions on how to balance and glide. They put on their bicycle helmets and practiced in the backyard for awhile. The twins had not learned how to ride on two wheels yet. The training wheels are still on their bicycles. So they have trouble balancing on the scooters too.
Our new neighbor stopped by to introduce their kids to ours. Their daughter Taya is 4.5 year old. Their son Grant is 6. He ran away as soon as his mother mentioned his name. His father Joe went after him and they never returned. We invited Gwenette and Taya into our house. We asked the twins to play with Taya. They took her into their playroom and then they just left her there alone. Taya was quite occupied with all the toys and she probably didn't know the twins were missing. We chatted for awhile with Gwenette in the living room. She is a nurse manager in the pediatric intensive care unit at Stanford University Children's Hospital. She is also studying for her MBA at Stanford University. The job and the studying came together as a package deal. It must be an offer attractive enough for her family to move from Minnesota to the Bay Area. They left shortly after we had other visitors.
Lucy and Terence came to our house for dinner. Hing was busy with something else and he arrived later.
Joanne told daddy she was not feeling well and she wanted to go to bed. She asked me to wake her up when dinner was ready. After she fell asleep, I took her temperature. She was burning at 102 degree. We let her sleep and did not wake her for dinner. We fed her later in the evening when she woke up.
Sunday, Jan 26, 2003 (5y+5m+20d)Joanne recovered from her fever in the morning. She was jumping up and down energetically.
Joanne followed mommy to the Chinese New Year street fair in San Francisco Chinatown. (Chinese New Year would be on next Saturday.) They left with Sharleen and Claire after lunch. Jasmine said she wanted to stay with daddy. In the afternoon, daddy took Jasmine to Hing's house for the Superbowl XXXVII game on his high definition TV. Before the game, we went to the supermarket for some drinks and snacks. Jasmine picked some candies and "PushPop". She picked the strawberry flavor. She also asked daddy to buy the cherry flavor for Joanne because she knew it was her favorite flavor. Jasmine always looked after Joanne though they fought a lot.
Hing invited another family to the party too. Jasmine played with Terence and the children of the other guest family. The adults crowded in front of the TV for a few hours. The Oakland Raiders played a very disappointing game. The football game was lopsided and it was frustrating to me despite I was not a Raiders fan. I could have cheered for Tampa Bay if the Raiders were not a local team. Jasmine wanted to go home several times. But she didn't complain when daddy said we would stay till the end of the game. As soon as the game was over, we left. I was stuffed with snacks and junk food in front of the TV, so we didn't stay for dinner. When we got home, I prepared a quick meal for Jasmine. She asked for chicken nuggets and clam chowder. Both were ready made, I just heat them up for Jasmine. Mommy and Joanne returned at around 9pm. We all went to bed early.
Monday, Jan 27, 2003 (5y+5m+21d)The twins are 2000 days old today. They went to school as usual.
Mommy and the twins went to Annette's house after school. They stayed for dinner too. Daddy cooked a quick meal for himself. It was past 9pm when they returned home. Joanne was still energetic, but when I checked her temperature, she had a 99-degree fever. Mommy didn't realize Joanne was still sick. Joanne should have stayed home to rest. I just hope she didn't leave the germs at Annette's house.
Tuesday, Jan 28, 2003 (5y+5m+22d)Joanne's fever was gone in the morning. Daddy left for work before the twins woke up. The twins went to school as usual. Tuesday school runs on an early schedule.
When daddy came home from work, the twins were taking a nap in the car in the garage. They were fed dinner when they woke up. Both twins had a runny nose, but no fever. They stayed up for a couple hours before we sent them to bed early. We wanted them to rest a lot for a speedy recovery. The school would have a field trip on Thursday. The twins were looking forward to it. The twins knew that they might miss the field trip if they didn't get well soon.
Wednesday, Jan 29, 2003 (5y+5m+23d)Daddy left for work before the twins woke up. They went to school as usual. The twins still had runny noses but no fever. Jasmine's upper lip was all red and swollen because she wiped her nose too hard. Jasmine had a cold sore on her lip.
Mommy and daddy both have cold sores. We learned that cold sore is a lifetime ailment and there is no cure. Once you got it, the virus hides at the nerve endings and it resurfaces once in a while. Cold sores are contagious during an outbreak. We were very careful about physical contacts during a cold sore outbreak. We didn't believe Jasmine got it from us because we didn't have any cold sore outbreak recently. Mommy said Jasmine might have caught it from her classmates because she saw some kids with cold sores at school.
Their classmates Annette, Katherine and Michael came to our house after school. They should have stayed away because our twins were not recovered from their runny nose yet. However, if their parents didn't mind the risk, they were all welcome.
When daddy came home, the twins were already in bed. They needed to get up early tomorrow to catch the bus at school for a field trip. Joanne was already asleep and she didn't wake up till the morning. Jasmine heard daddy and got out of bed. She asked for more food though she already had dinner earlier. Mommy fed her some dinner leftover and sent her back to bed. She got out of bed again because she could not sleep right after eating. We let her play on the computer for awhile and sent her back to bed again. I guess she wasn't really hungry, she just wanted daddy's company. On the other hand, she knew she needed enough sleep for the field trip tomorrow. She ran to bed immediately when we reminded her of the field trip. Jasmine told daddy that they would be going to the zoo tomorrow. She asked if horses are farm animals. She wished the horses were zoo animals so that she could ride them tomorrow.
Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 (5y+5m+24d)The twins went to school early for the field trip. They left home before daddy woke up.
The twins are 2003 days old today in the year 2003. I thought it was kind of special.
The twins said they liked the field trip. They went to Happy Hallow Zoo in San Jose. They remembered that they had been there many times before. Mommy used to join the family membership at the zoo some years ago.
Friday, Jan 31, 2003 (5y+5m+25d)The twins went to school as usual. Annette's mom backed her car into mommy's car in the school parking lot and left a big dent on the fender. Since we just had a repair on another car, it would not look good on our record to make another insurance claim. Annette's mom said she would pay for the repair out of her own pocket. Mommy joked that it was better to let the bad luck go out with the year of the Horse and start a new year tomorrow.
The twins said Annette came to visit after school. Joanne was so tired that she fell asleep on the sofa after dinner.
Saturday, Feb 1, 2003 (5y+5m+26d)It is Chinese New Year today. It is the year of the Ram. Today's date is 01/02/03 or 03/02/01 depending on your locale date format.
We slept until the twins came to wake us up. I downloaded some MIDI music for Chinese New Year from the Internet. I played the MIDI files on our piano to add to the Chinese New Year mood. We prepared a late breakfast before leaving the house. As a Chinese tradition, we paid New Year visits to family and friends. Before we went to Grandma Chui's, we stopped by Hing and Lucy's home because they were close by. They offered us lunch with dishes typical for Chinese New Year. The twins were occupied in coloring after lunch. It took some efforts to get them ready to leave. We went to visit Grandma Chui where we ate some Chinese New Year snacks.
We heard from the radio that NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated on reentry to the earth's atmosphere. It was sad news.
We went to Annette's house for dinner. Katherine and Michael's family was also invited. The kids had great time horse-playing in the house. The moms chatted in the kitchen. The dads watched the news in the living room.
The kids had their dinner first and resumed their activities. The adults had the "numbingly spicy" hotpot for dinner. This was the first time I had that because spicy food is not common in Cantonese dishes. The hotpot was basically cooking food in hot chili pepper sauce. The first few bites of the food gave an intense burning sensation to the mouth. But the food was so spicy hot that the tongue didn't feel the chili after the first few minutes. Though the tongue was too numb to feel the heat, bead size sweat rolled down my forehead. I wanted to try this infamous dish for a long time. But I worried the strong spice might upset my stomach afterwards. It turned out okay except both mommy and I got couple of pimples on our face in the morning. Chili pepper is known for pimple outbreak according to Chinese Ying Yang theory on food. It is supposed to be worse than French fries and chocolate regarding effects on the skin.
Mommy joined them for a game of Mahjong. Daddy suffered a bad case of allergy. Something in the house was causing me tears and running nose for the entire evening. Joanne went to sleep on the sofa first, followed by Jasmine an hour later. The other kids continued to play until the party was over past midnight. We carried the twins to our car and then to their beds when we got home. I was glad that my allergic reactions stopped as soon as I left their house.
Sunday, Feb 2, 2003 (5y+5m+27d)We slept in because we came home late last night. We visited Grandma Ling in the afternoon. We took a stroll to Chinatown hoping to see some Chinese New Year atmosphere. I was surprised that the Chinatown totally lacked the sound of firecrackers and lion dance. It didn't feel like New Year at all. It was quite different from last year.
We left after dinner. Jasmine fell asleep in the car. We cancelled our plan to visit Lillian and William. Mommy put the twins in bed after giving their butts a quick shower.
Monday, Feb 3, 2003 (5y+5m+28d)There was no school today. It was some kind of training day for the teachers. Mommy didn't know until she checked the school calendar. The twins were happy that they got a day off.
They went to visit Lillian before lunch.
Their classmate Katherine and Michael visited. Joanne was so tired that she fell asleep on daddy's lap before the guests left. Everyone went to bed early because the twins have early school on Tuesday.
Tuesday, Feb 4, 2003 (5y+5m+29d)The twins went to school early today. Mommy took the car to the body shop for an estimate. The big dent on the fender costs $750 to fix.
Wednesday, Feb 5, 2003 (5y+5m+30d)The twins went to school as usual.
Lillian and William invited 4 families including us to have a special dinner at their place. They ordered a special dish that contains many ingredients. It was like putting a whole banquet in a pot.
Thursday, Feb 6, 2003 (5y+6m)The twins are 5.5 year old today.
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started on Feb 7, 2003