Category Archives: Chinese

July 4th Weekend

July 2 – 4, 2011

7.2.2011 Happy 16 months!
Simon enjoyed playing in our front yard this morning. It was warm weather and so was the water. He is wearing Ron’s visor since he insisted.

We had a date with our friend Tiffany to see Avenue Q in San Jose so we dropped Simon off at Grandpa Chung’s for babysitting. Simon cried when we left and apparently cried for another 45 minutes after we left. We are still learning how best to leave so that he won’t have this type of reaction again in the future. We think we left too abruptly but we had done it before and he was fine. He’s older now though so probably understands a bit more but is also afraid that we won’t come back. My poor baby. I felt bad but I knew he would be well taken care of.

We were running a bit late and the original place we wanted to go to for dinner was packed so we looked on Yelp and ended up at Mama Chen’s in Santa Clara for some Taiwanese cuisine.

Ba wan. Good amount of meat and large slices of bamboo shoots plus it was a large sized ba wan itself.

Their special beef noodle soup. The noodles were nice and chewy but the beef itself was a little tough. The broth is light in taste, dark in color. Next time I would skip this.

Shrimp pancake. Loved the chewy gooey texture and the crispy thin layer outside.

Of course we tried the stinky tofu, yum yum!

Green onion pancake with egg. Hard to describe but if you like egg and green onions, I think you’ll like this.

It has a thick layer of egg and was well cooked so the entire thing was flaky.

After dinner, we made it to the show a little bit late but they let us in to sit on the side seats until intermission. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a riot. It really is like muppets for adults. It’s a little bit raunchy but that’s what makes it hilarious. Long live the bad idea bears!

We picked up Simon around 11:30pm and he was fast asleep. Apparently he waited up for us until 10:30pm. Poor little guy. At least he’ll have all day with us tomorrow.

We explored the Walnut Creek Farmer’s Market this morning then took a walk around downtown. Of course once we saw this fountain, we had to stop.

Our boy loves water features.

We went to visit my parents’ house for a late afternoon BBQ. They bought Simon an inflatable pool and a new swim outfit. He was really excited.

My mom also bought this turtle sprinkler that Simon enjoyed splashing around with.

Simon showed off what he learned in swimming class. His frog kick! This was my first time seeing him swim, I’m so proud of our little guy!

Thank you Grandma Tam! I love my pool!

Simon not only had fun splashing in the pool, he also had fun experimenting with buoyancy.

In between Simon’s playing, we had a late lunch. Kalbi, asparagus, crackers and crab dip, corn, and ribs (cooked by Tim).

Simon played in the pool all afternoon, in for one hour, out for 15 minutes to eat, in for one hour, out for 15 minutes to eat, and repeat for 4-5 hours total.

We didn’t get to see fireworks though except from the freeway on the way home. Simon couldn’t stay up that long and it was pretty crowded everywhere.

Zebra Love, Gymboree x 2, Sausalito, Stinky Tofu, Playing Maracas

April 19 – April 26, 2011

We went out to eat with Auntie Vickie at Han Il Kwan (Korean BBQ) and Simon enjoyed himself but also made a big mess.

Thank you Auntie Vicki for coming to join us for dinner!

Ziggy has a new friend: Tiger

Simon finds them both huggable.

Simon has a Zebra outfit that we bought in Singapore. It was a little too big before but seems to fit perfectly now.

It has a cute little behind.

We are quitting Gymboree membership after this month so we tried to make use of our make-up classes, at least one. We have six from when Simon was sick during the winter and kept on missing class. So we went to this evening’s class.

I must say, compared to the other classes that we’ve attended for make-up, our Saturday class teacher Laney is so much better than the others. Her songs seem so much better and the way she explains everything seems so much better. I think I will miss her more than Simon will.

Simon finally figured out his lawn mower toy.

Ron was helping his brother move today so Simon and I went to another Gymboree class, this time in San Mateo. With our membership, we have two free classes worldwide so used one up today. Grandpa Chung came to watch and took some photos of Simon. Again, this teacher couldn’t compare to our teacher… but the facility was nicer and there were less kids.

Simon really liked this donut hole, he kept on crawling in and out of it and putting his ball in it too.

Lounging in his donut hole.

He really likes the balls.

He enjoyed the row boat today too.

He was afraid to walk across this plank since it was a bit wobbly but with his “security” ball and mommy’s hand, he walked across.

Knocked out for his afternoon nap. Not wanting to disturb him, I took a nap in the car too until he woke up.

After the nap, he was all refreshed and ready to make some music… and write some email?

Then climb on his desk chair to do some drawing. He can get onto the chair himself, feet first. He must be watched closely or else the chair might tip over.

Simon in motion… some of his clothes are a little tight on him, I thought this made him look slim.

Just woken up from a nap, waiting for seats at Le Garage in Sausalito for lunch.

“I want everything on this menu!”

“Mommy, your croque madame looks yummy!”

Daddy had the burger.

After lunch, we drove to downtown Sausalito to walk off a bit of our meal. A little breezy but at least the mist and cold lifted.

While mommy and daddy had ice cream, Simon had a nap. The end of a good afternoon with our friends Susan and Ken.

Simon still likes his lawn mower… but gets tired so crawls onto the couch for a rest. The couch is low but it’s still amazing for me to watch him crawl up by himself.

“I want THAT cup of water.”

We had dinner at Taste of Formosa. Simon had his first taste of stinky tofu and he actually seemed to like it… likely because it was fried and a bit crunchy.

Shredded pork and preserved vegetable noodle soup. It was a little watered down and not enough preserved vegetables.

Wah guay. Definitely not as good as Taiwan.

Dumplings. They were okay but nothing too special. The wrappers were a bit uneven.

Oyster pancake. This tasted good to me, this is not Ron’s favorite dish.

Ba wan. It was a bit tough… and took a long time to come out.

Not sure if we’ll be back. The best part was the stinky tofu… so maybe if we have a craving.

Daddy Ron bought Simon maracas and whistles. He took the maracas right away.

Simon enjoys “reading” his Cookie Monster cookbook and looking at all the Sesame Street characters.

Simon playing his maraca and pointing at “Cookie”.

I love to see Simon in action but I also really love to watch him in a peaceful sleep.

It’s a Gymboree Day

Day 319 = January 15, 2011

Simon moved up a class at Gymboree today since he cruises pretty well and now the time matches up better with his morning nap. He was actually excited about walking again with us supporting him. Recently when we tried to hold him up by his arms, he would just sit down but he participated in this song that involves walking around in a circle and turning round and round.

They had slide day today, you can see a mixture of fear and fun in his face.

Simon loves these whiffle balls at Gymboree.

There was also this setup where the babies bounce down this soft log. Simon’s expression seems like he is a bit confused but didn’t mind it so much.

After Gymboree, we went to lunch and tried this place called Taipei Restaurant. We passed by it plenty of times and so we finally decided to see what type of food they had. Ron had a rice dish with pork and preserved vegetables. He said it was pretty good.

I had their version of ja ja mien and the sauce was a bit salty for my taste but was nice and spicy. There seemed to be too much noodle for the amount of sauce though.

This is one order of rice roll. Ron found the rice kind of weird and the dough stick a bit chewy.

But the size was big enough to just have that for lunch.

As I mentioned earlier, Simon’s seems to be okay with walking with us again. Grandma Tam bought these “walking wings” for him but he refused to use it the first time we put it on so we kind of forgot about it. Ron tried it again today and Simon was really excited about it. The video is horizontal…

Ron taught Simon today how to toss a plastic ball back and forth with him.

Simon’s four top teeth have really grown in. He doesn’t like us to take a picture of them though.

Pretty soon, it’ll be time to visit the dentist again.

Happy 10 Months

Day 306 = January 2, 2011

Simon is 10 months old today… WOW, how time flies!

Letting Simon explore his snack cup. He’s not sure what to make of it. He doesn’t seem to like the parts that keep the snacks inside the cup. He kind of pulls his hands away once it closes onto his hand. Maybe he just doesn’t like the particular snacks inside… we’ll have to put something more enticing inside.

Simon seems to like dim sum or any meat wrapped in noodle. Last week he had wontons and yesterday he had some siu mai. Today for breakfast I heated up some chicken cilantro wontons (from TJ’s) and he seemed to like them. When he really likes something, he will pick it up with his own hands rather than waiting for you to feed him.

Simon got a bit distracted by our cat Mochi. He’s been more interested in them now as they walk by the dining table and is curious about the sounds they make.

Misu enjoying being groomed by Mochi.

We went out to lunch to Koi Garden with my family in San Ramon. Our special dish of the afternoon, fresh lobster dumplings!

Simon Claus came out for one more encore.

ET phone home!

After lunch, we went to hang out at my parents’ house and check out their new 3D TV. We watched Despicable Me and it was pretty cool albeit a bit disorienting for the first few minutes. The glasses aren’t very comfortable though so I guess that’s why 3D movies aren’t generally very long plus the glasses use batteries which I wonder how long do they last. But a neat experience nonetheless.

Simon with grandma and grandpa Tam.

Simon needed a nap before going out to dinner and he fussed for quite a bit before finally falling asleep. Since we forgot to bring his Pooh or Zebra, he borrowed my mom’s pillow pet to keep him company during naptime.

We went to dinner at Izzy’s Steaks & Chops nearby. The restaurant lighting was dim and there was a low drone so Simon did not enjoy it inside at all. We probably woke him prematurely from his nap too so he probably was still tired. We basically had to take turns carrying Simon around the front of the restaurant since he wouldn’t let us sit down at the table and he didn’t want to sit down himself. He can be pretty fussy sometimes. But we tried to enjoy our dinner.

Wine selection for the evening.

Calamari appetizer. Nice and crisp and good dipping sauces, something was spicy (and good) and I couldn’t figure out if it was the calamari itself or the sauces.

Their entrees are served with 2 sides of your choice. This is my mom’s prime rib with sweet potato and their creamed spinach.

My entree of the special cut of the day: Cowboy cut with sweet potato and creamed spinach. It has a nice grill, very juicy, still tender, and seasoned well.

The place had the best rolls, served warm and super soft. They are baked in muffin tins so are soft inside and have that more toasty outside. It also comes apart in three pieces so perfect for buttering. Except for Simon not enjoying the atmosphere, the steaks were excellent and so was the bread. It was overall a pretty quite night as there weren’t many other diners but maybe it’s busier when they have live music.

Little Simon, Happy 10 Months!

Sucking up noodles

Day 247

Simon likes Edison, his Alphabet Pal toy, not for learning the ABCs but playing with the wheels underneath. Oh well, he’s too young to recite his ABCs just yet so at least he is learning to use his fingers to manipulate things.

Simon can eat about one-quarter to one-half of a medium sized avocado and this is along with some other things like yogurt, fish, snacks, etc. He just really loves avocado. Can you feed your baby too much avocado?

We went to dinner with our friend Susan at San Tung Restaurant. She ordered a noodle dish and lucky for Simon she did, so that he could try having some noodles.

He sucked it right up and seemed to enjoy it.

At first I was just placing the entire piece into his mouth then thought I’d see if he could suck it in. I was so excited when he actually was able to suck it into his mouth… little milestones like these make me happy.

I can only hope this will lead to Simon eating other things besides avocado. We tried pasta a while back but he didn’t seem to like it since it was still too tough for him. We probably just have to boil the heck out of it to make it super soft. Or else try some softer Asian style noodles like egg noodles or something. It’s always exciting to find other things that Simon will eat since he’s turning out to be a bit of a picky eater. He’ll try most things but then reject it instantly if he’s not in the mood. But we try to reintroduce them later and sometimes he’ll be in the mood. This happened with spinach, he hated it the first time around but ate the entire portion the next time. Sometimes he likes bananas and sometimes he doesn’t. The one thing he hardly ever refuses though is avocado. I wonder what it is about avocado that he likes?