Category Archives: 3rd Month

Pictures from 100 Days Celebration

Just weighed both Lin and Li this morning (Oct 12 Shanghai time) with a clean diaper, they are 8 kilograms each, about 17.6lbs. I looked it up on the WHO newly release weight for age chart, they are at 97%!!!

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What do 3-month-olds do?

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Lin and Li turned 3 months yesterday, and our life in Shanghai is really crazy. Everyday we have so much on our plate and we are trying to get things done during the week-long national holiday. JT is back in China for work and we saw him again having dinner at Lost Heaven on the Bund, on National Day (Oct 1st), he then spent the day with Rob, Cheryl and Ella yesterday, we took the boys and met up with them at a traditional soup dumpling place on Nanjing Xi Lu. It was great fun to see him and he wanted to come back next weekend for the expo! Scott is coming to Shanghai today from Beijing, next week Nora and Joe will be here, then Joe Chung will be visiting the day after Nora and Joe leave Shanghai for Beijing, I can’t believe how many visitors we are having but it’s wonderful to be able to see our friends from the US, it sure keeps our life fun, which is what we really need right now.

The boys continue to grow and show interesting abilities everyday. They smile back at us and both of them now hold on to my breast while I feed them and they know how to get more milk by squeezing! They seem to spit up more probably because of the increasing amount of milk they are consuming but they seem to be less fussy.  When you lay them down, they turn their heads towards each other and make funny noises as if they were talking, it is the cutest thing. In the past few days, we feed them around 10 at night, and they are able to sleep through the night, waking up around 6am so it’s been great that we are getting more sleep now than ever! They definitely can take more milk too, since we still bottle feed them once a day, we know they are able to take 6~7 ounces each time, and they do last longer for up to 5 hours during the day. Life with twins finally got a little bit easier.

Michael and I decided to go on a small trip during the moon festival holiday in late September, since it’s the busiest season for tourism in China, we chose a small village nearby Hangzhou right on the Liuxi River, the village is called Gaoping, it’s in the Lin’an area deep in the mountains, not a real tourist town, all 60 households were relocated by the government due to the construction of a dam, and it’s a real pretty village, everyone lives right on the water and it is so clean, they grow their own vegetables, raise their own pigs, chicken and ducks. The weekend tourists also bring a lot of wealth into this tiny village, as a matter of fact, we were really surprised to see so many cars parked in the small parking lot. Since we had the boys with us, we chose a Bed & Breakfast type hotel that just opened six months ago. The owners are a young couple from Shanghai who decided to move to the country and expand their hotel business, the guy actually had a lot to talk about with Michael since his major in college was also computer engineering and he’s actually a college classmate of my middle school classmate. They did a wonderful job renovating the house and our “honeymoon suite” was perfect for our situation, there’s a futon on the floor for the babies, it’s everything we wanted minus the romance of being honeymooners (not complaining about the boys by the way). We loved our balcony with a view of the mountain and the river.

To get to this village was not easy, we couldn’t believe that every single train ticket was sold to get to Hangzhou, so we ended up taking a bus, the three hour ride wasn’t too bad but it was a struggle breastfeeding the babies on a bus. After we arrived in Lin’an (临安) we met up with the driver we hired, his little van worked out great since we were able to change diapers 🙂 That was another hour of driving to get to Gaoping Village (高坪村). Once we got there, we fell in love with the place, the water was so green and the mountains were just gorgeous, it sure is a completely different place than Shanghai, no traffic no pollution, pure nature with fresh air and sound of rooster, frogs and dogs. Michael and I pretty much were eating non-stop. Our first lunch was a chicken stew with some bok choy. The family we ate at raise their own chicken, and they go into the mountains, so sometimes they say it’s hard to catch them! Michael and I had never had chicken that is so delicious, the soup was so flavorful, the chicken skin tasted like meat (it’s hard to explain but for someone like me who never touches chicken skin this was amazing). Since it’s a whole chicken we couldn’t eat it all, so the couple offered to add water to the pot and delivered the 2-round chicken soup to our hotel for dinner. Guess what? It was just as delicious!!! Michael and I ate everything but the head and the feet. The house dog Tudou (potato in Chinese) was very sweet he went out with us as if he was showing us where to go! The following day we had a whole fish, that was fantastic too, Michael and I enjoyed watching the owner catch, kill and clean the fish, Michael even got a picture wearing his straw fishing raincoat with a straw hat, which are really hard to find these days. Since the village is in the mountain, there’s absolutely no pollution in the water. They also collect honey from the wild bees, it’s such a wonderful lifestyle they have. Wish we could live like that.

In the afternoon, most tourists were gone since most people had to go back to work that Saturday. Michael and I were pretty one of the few left in the village, we really wanted to get on the water but with Lin and Li, the safety was a concern, we tried to rent the huge dragon boat and we were able to negotiate a good price, but last minute they couldn’t start the boat so the alternative was to get on a speed boat, at the lowest speed. It was a 10 minute ride to get to a small island. Since it’s a man-made lake the water was real calm so we agreed. Lin and Li were sleeping most of the time during the day in their carriers so they did just fine. When we got on the little island, we found out there’s a 15-minute climb to get to a waterfall, so we decided to climb the mountain, I was carrying Li and he woke up once we started climbing, he didn’t close his eyes until the end of the trip, he was so curious looking around it was amazing. There was nobody else other than a couple taking their wedding pictures in front of the waterfall. The waterfall was stunning and we never thought the boat trip would turn out to be such an adventure. Lin woke up when we arrived at the top, where there’s a big suspension bridge, he was looking around as well – they both loved the climb and so did we! When we went back to the hotel, they made egg tart, crepes and dinner, everything was just perfect for our weekend trip. And I had so much milk after we returned home! Lin and Li have taken the plane, boat, bus and car ride, the only thing they haven’t got on is train. China is going through a major upgrade with the train system right now, the newest thing now is the high speed trains that connect all major cities, it cuts the trip between Shanghai and Hangzhou to 38 minutes (used to be 1.5~2 hours), it will take longer for us to get to the train station! I am sure the boys will get on the trains in no time, maybe we can take them on the maglev too.


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Some really cute pictures of Li

One day I took a lot of pictures of Li and when I looked at them again, they were so cute that I can’t help smiling!

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Breast Manners

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Lin and Li are 2 and half months old now, starting their 11th week today. The changes that they go through are really amazing. It’s hard to put their birth size into perspective now since they have doubled their weight already, weighing 14lbs each since a few days ago. It is also a great thing that now theyhave their feeding routine of 7 times a day within 24 hours, they can hole their heads and feet up, sometimes they do their tummy on the floor (and tummy only) together, really fun to watch. They also start “talking”, making all kinds of new noises, crying for attention when they are bored, everyday there’s something new.

We’ve been feeding them, always, in the same time, so I don’t really know how to feed them one at a time, sometimes I lay down and feed one if Lin or Li is really fussy and there’s no way around it. Their feeding schedule now is 3am, 7am, 10am, 12:3opm, 5pm, 7:30pm, 9pm or 9:30pm. We have always believed in on-demanding feeding but somehow their biological clock sets off the alarm no more than 30 minutes away from the time so they established their own routine, which I am not complaining about. Between the feedings, usually Li sleeps more than Lin does, and he’s catching up on the weight, probably due to more sleep, more pooping.

I’ve been lucky to have no problem with my nipples, haven’t really used the nipple cream since we arrived in Shanghai, there’s no need. The milk supply is just right, I do pump 2~3 ounces to mix the probiotic in the bottle on a daily basis so they do get the bottle once a day, which according to the books is a good thing to have them used to the bottles. Lin and Li are awesome that they never ever had trouble using bottles and the breast from day one. I try to put them at the breasts as much as possible, since the composition of the milk changes according to babies’ needs, therefore freezing milk for later use may not achieve the goal of meeting their nutritional demands, plus expressed milk mix the fore milk and hind milk so they don’t know when to stop eating as well as being on the breasts. Compared to the initial hurdles that we had, breastfeeding now is a breeze. The biggest challenge now is the commitment of being with them a lot because of the frequent feedings, if we need to be out for a while, we will have to make sure there’s milk at home and we need to come back before certain time – quite different than the pre-baby time, when we could just stay out as long as we wanted but we are very fortunate that we have help that we can at least go out once everyday, either to the club house for a swim or a quick dinner somewhere.

The boys have okay breast manners, they are usually pretty happy and quiet while drinking, but anyone who has taken a baby off the breast shortly after the start of the feeding will know how loud a baby can scream. Li, however, will cry for no reason in the middle of the feeding, we still haven’t figured out why! Both of them sometimes would work on pooping 30 minutes or so into the feeding, which is really funny, because they would stop nursing, you see their faces turn red and then you hear an explosion on the other end, then they go back to eating happily again. The most precious moments though, are when they are alert, they smile with the nipple in their mouth when I talk to them, it’s the cutest!

Now it still takes about an hour to complete the nursing session, if I let them decide when to get off, sometimes they do after 30 minutes but usually it’s a pretty long process for all of us. They always stretch when they are picked up, and I need one too when I get up, the remedy for the back and shoulder aches is full body massage, we go twice a week for the one-hour session, best $10 you can spend even though sometimes it’s a lot of pain during the process. I also try to cover my shoulder to prevent any chronicle disease from exposing my body to air-conditioning.

In a few months, they boys will be more distracted and will start fiddling and playing at the breasts, maybe even bite the nipples with their brand new choppers so we will see how their breast manners evolve but hopefully we can stop their bad habits, if any, from the very beginning. In a way, I am very thankful that we have twins, not singleton or triplets, because there’s no issue with leaking while feeding and I change their position every feeding, 2 nipples are just right for them 🙂


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Search for the Organic Foods

We have been letting our taste buds go wild since we arrived in Shanghai. And there’s a good reason for it – the food is so good here! Chinese really know how to cook vegetables, and it’s fairly easy to do it here if you want to be a vegetarian. Seasonal vegetables, most of which can’t be found in the US, are available almost everywhere. Supermarket, believe it or not, is a new place for people to shop for veggies. Most Shanghainese still shop from the wet market, where the farmers bring in fresh produce on a daily basis, and we’ve noticed that vendors are selling them usually by the front gate of the communities. I remember in the old days, farmers will travel through the alleys and we just went downstairs and bought stuff from them right by our doors.

China is heading toward the GMO route, which is very disappointing. I didn’t know Monsanto has been indirectly selling GMO products like soy bean oil (most popular cooking oil used by Chinese family) and Chinese are developing GMO rice which will be available in less than 5 years. I wish China would follow EU, enforcing laws on GMO labeling instead of following the US and manipulating foods for profit. The alarming health risks of consuming GMO haven’t been carefully tested and identified, yet FDA has released its seal, how can they! Only a tiny percentage of the consumer will have an immediate reaction/allergy to GMO and the problem may take decades to surface. The fact that we are messing with the nature and using food, which ALL human race depend on, as a means of making money, is really sad.

Since we can’t tell whether any type of foods has been genetically modified here, (thankfully, the “technologies” on making GMO are as advanced as they are in the US), we searched for local organic farms. At certain high-end grocers, such as City Mart, 1 kg of bok choy can go up to $15 (about $7 per lbs), that is just ridiculous, I’ve grown them, they are very easy to grow and they grow fast. The place we found is called Shanghai Organics, it is located about an hour outside of downtown Shanghai but still within the city limit, the reason we decided to give it a try is because they welcome consumers to take a tour to their base where they grow these produce. It is the only way to make sure that the quality is what they claim to be. I also like their direct delivery, you can order online, over the phone or via email, as long as it’s 24 hr ahead, and the order is at least 85RMB (about $12), they will deliver the produce right to your door.

A well-balanced diet during breastfeeding months is even more important than that during pregnancy, Michele told me. The boys are definitely growing fast, now we cannot really tighten the belt for the Ergo infant insert any more, and the inserts are designed to be used up to 4 or 5 months!  The boys can go longer between feedings too, the other night, they lasted for more than 7 hours. Last night was very tough though, we forgot to give them the probiotic during the day, so they were fussing from 5pm till early this morning, both of them screamed probably from the pain. Dr. Gil was right again, they boys have been really good ever since we arrived here, and now we know why, they were on probiotic every day until yesterday so we won’t skip another dose again. We probably have about 3 weeks left before they get past the colic stage.

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