My daughter earned the first $100 in her life

The purpose to encourage DD to fulfill the perfect attendance is not for the $100. The purpose is to build and develop her characters, and cultivate her financial awareness.

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After the twins were born…

The arrival of twins changed our lives, and DD’s as well. I realized that the most difficult part and the most intimidating part of parenting.

Now both of them eat like hungry birds and grow like weeds.

Asking how I feel?


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Baby’s growth, month 39

After age 2, DD shoot up like sprouts. At month 39, like many three year olds, DD grew much more in height (38 inches) than weight (at least 35 lbs) and appeared skinny to others’ eyes.

But we know there was nothing to worry, since she has always been a good eater and an active runner. Everybody who wanted to hold her was surprised to find out she was much heavier than she appeared to be. “She is solid”, we explained.

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Baby’s growth, month 38

What are the development characteristics of a 38-month toddler? Look at DD!

At month 38, DD could move well and quickly, maintain perfect balance, carry drinks without spilling (if she paid attention), alternate feet when climbing stairs, gallop in high, wide steps, put on and take off shirsts without any help (and figure the front and back side quite well), and have some finger control in handling small objects.

She had a full range of human emotions. She could be excited, happy, sad, mad, cranky, frustrated and sometimes jealous (of her little sisters in my tommy).

She could count up to 20 in English and up to 10 in Chinese. She could name and match at least seven colors (e.g. blue, red, yellow, white, black, pink, green, and etc) in English and Chinese.

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Baby’s growth, month 37

This month, DD’s most obvious change was in her Chinese language development. Although her Chinese vocabulary couldn’t match that of her English, she could easy carry a simple conversation with my parents in Chinese, using more and more Chinese words and phrases that she picked up from Chinese cartoons, books, my parents and me.

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Baby’s growth, month 36

At month 36, I was so happy to see DD’s progress in language development. She was quite confident in speaking English, using more complicated words (such as “delicious”) and sentence structures.

She used English as a tool to express her wishes, opinions and emotions. The most common sentence structure she was using was “I want to…”, or “I don’t want to…”

Sometimes she would put in a more polite way, like “can I watch TV?” Overall, she could have a pretty long and complicated conversation with M in English.

She not only learned the language, but also learned to use it properly in different contexts. Put into another word, she began to use language as a social tool to interact with her surrounding world.

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Baby’s growth, month 35

When I was so frustrated that DD didn’t talk, Grandpa told me “don’t worry. Before two, you teach her to speak; after two, you tell her to shut up.”

So true!

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Baby’s growth, month 34

This month, DD leapfrogged on her language development. She could easily carry a conversation using 5, 6 even 7-word sentences. And she loved to develop her own monologue, like this:

“I want to ask (him/her): why you want to be a mousy?”
“Because I am a mousy.”


“Happy birthday!” and she handed me a nice purse full of marbles.
“Here are my marbles.” Then we counted them.
“I got to go. Bye-bye.”

She could identify at least seven colors (e.g. blue, red, yellow, white, black, pink, green, and etc), at least four actions (e.g. jumping, hopping, spinning, running, and etc), and three emotions (e.g. happy, mad, and sad).

She loved to ask “where, what, when and why” questions, such as “where are we going, daddy?”, “what’s so funny?”, “why are you doing this, mommy?”, “why go(ing) home now?” and etc.

She could count from 1 to 10 in English, and do a simple math for numbers below five.

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Baby’s growth, month 33

During this month’s PAT visit, we were told that the general rule of child language development is “2-word sentences at 2, 3-word sentences at 3, 4 at 4, and so forth”. So there was no big deal for DD to carry a conversation of two or three sentences, each having three words.

But, what M and I noticed was, sometimes DD spoke 5, 6 even 7-word sentences and made herself 75-90% (probably more difficult to people that aren’t family) understood. For example, she would say “you are (a) momma worm, (and) I am (a) baby worm”, “houhou’s (meaning “monkey” in Chinese) blue ball went down the hill”, or “I want to go out (to) Emma’s house”.

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Baby’s growth, month 32

During this month’s PAT visit (see PAT home visit and screening in Baby’s growth, month 29), DD met all the expectations for her age development. She could brush her teeth with help, build a tower of 6 or more, draw a vertical line in imitation, balance on each foot for one second, identify a friend by naming, wash and dry hands, identify at least one color, and put on her pants and sometimes socks.

She could carry on a simple conversation using two or three (sometimes more) words and got herself 75 percent understood. For example, she introduced us to the PAT teacher at the door by saying “this (is) my daddy” and “this (is) my mommy”.

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Baby’s growth, month 31

DD always put on her best behavior in public, even since she was few months old. She wouldn’t cry or get fussy in the restaurant, but would let out her feelings as soon as we came back to the car.

At month 31, she became a master of playing nice to strangers outside of the house. She waived and smiled sweetly to people, and always initiated to say “hi”. Of course, she got rewards, either a cookie, or a balloon, or sunny smile back. “Your child is such a delight,” people often told us.

But at home, DD was a terrible “terrible two”. She was bossy, demanding me do things that she was perfectly capable of doing herself. She screamed and tossed thing around when they didn’t go her way. She refused to listen and follow orders.

“Is every ‘terrible two’ this difficult or did I spoil her?” I questioned myself. The answer came to me at one night when DD was playing with other kids.

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Baby’s growth, month 16

At month 16, DD further challenged her physical limits and learned to use tools. She became a creative climber.

Her language development reached a milestone. She understood much more than she could speak. It was amazing to watch her do (or not do) exactly as we said, English from M and Chinese from me. She also began to show the urge to build social connections, especially with children.

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Baby’s growth, month 15

The 15th month is what pediatricians consider a “milestone” period—a time that most babies walk right out of babyhood. This is absolutely true to DD. Since she was quite confident on her feet, she was very keen to experiment with different ways of moving: trotting, running and dancing.

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Baby’s growth, month 14

On DD’s one-year birthday, grandmas told me soon I would notice some signs that my baby—small and cute though she is—wouldn’t be a baby any longer. I understood, since I already glimpsed her growing sense of independence, emerging negativity, primitive temper tantrums and sprouting my-way-or-highway-mind-set.

However, I never expected these behaviors would constitute the theme of her second year.

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Baby’s growth, month 13

Once the baby has a taste of freedom, it will be hard to hold her back. That is absolutely true. Once DD, a risk-taker, tasted the freedom of walking, it was difficult to prevent her from toddling. During month 13, she continued to make progress, physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively.

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Baby’s growth, month 12

This month DD turned to be one. I cannot believe how fast time flies. A full year has passed by! DD grew up from a tiny, bony, little baby who didn’t even have the strength to lift her head to a healthy, strong, chubby one who could crawl swiftly then cruise to any place she wanted, confidently climb upstairs and downstairs without second thought, and ambitiously took her first independent.

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Baby’s growth, month 11

This month, the house became DD’s adventure park. She crawled from one room to the other, enamored with stairs and practiced climbing up and down, learned to cruise while holding onto furniture, and fell in love with the novelty of standing — particularly in the bathtub. Her personality began to emerge. She was persistent on things she set her mind on and would keep practicing until she mastered it. She was also developing a mind of her own. Rather than passively accepting any food I shoveled into her mouth, she began to selectively accept those she enjoyed and reject those falling out of her favor.

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Baby’s growth, month 10

Most 10-month-old babies are confident crawlers and continue making major gains in development and begin displaying a little independence. Yes, that is DD. Her newfound mobility enabled her to explore her surroundings and discover hidden pots and pans inside kitchen drawlers, unload clean knives and forks from the dishwasher, take a peek inside the mysterious refrigerator and tear Daddy’s favorite painting which used to be out of her reach. Our fearless baby terminator was back, with better gears.

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Baby’s growth, month 9

This month DD finally figured out crawling. Once she did, she crawled swiftly and professionally. She even crawled to chase a puppy! She also quickly moved to the next milestone: pulling herself up to a standing position from sitting.

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Baby growing, month 8

This month DD made breakthrough in her crawling. She could move one step forward with hand and leg at the same side. She could also sit up by herself against objects. We tried all kinds of strategies to break her bad habit of staying up late at night.

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