Category Archives: Taiwanese

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.

Little Kaylee

Day 223

Today is our last day in Southern California. Simon was itching to go, “let me out!”

We went to find ourselves some Taiwanese breakfast so ended up at Ye-May Restaurant which was recommended by a local. Ron loves his Taiwanese breakfast foods so was excited to try it. We ordered the egg crepe served with an actual sauce that was sort of like sweet soy with garlic. Very unlike our last trip when we went to Yung Ho and they gave us soy paste.

Ba-wan, my favorite. The minced stuff inside was yummy and much easier to eat than some places that use large chunks of bamboo and meats.

I always forget what this is called since I don’t like to eat it… it’s one of Ron’s favorites though.

He also liked it because it was “stuffed”, usually the ingredients are on top or a bit is distributed but this actually had a large amount of filling.

This was an interesting “sandwich” with preserved vegetables, peanuts, and meat. It seemed like they microwaved it though so wasn’t as fresh as the other stuff.

We ordered some rice rolls to go, one savory and one sweet. They are made fresh so are hot when you get them. Ron couldn’t resist and had to take a bite right away just to see if the fried dough stick inside was crunchy. The sweet one is a fried dough stick covered in sugar then wrapped with the rice.

This restaurant is much better than Yung Ho so visit Ye-May if you’re ever in San Gabriel and craving some Taiwanese breakfast.

After our breakfast, we drove over to Manhattan Beach to meet up with our friend Lynne and her daughter Kaylee. Simon look a little nap in the car with his Winnie the Pooh seatbelted in, safe and sound.

Little Kaylee is 2.5 months old. I’ve already forgotten how small and seemingly fragile babies are at this age. She was really well behaved during our lunch and super cute in her sleep. She would make the mouthing motions of sucking to show mommy she is hungry. “Baby smell” at this age is softer and sweeter than at Simon’s age. It was fun to meet her and chat with mommy Lynne. Don’t you just want to pinch those chubby cheeks?

We had lunch at a place called Islands at the mall which is sort of like Hawaiian Mexican (?). Tacos with Hawaiian seasoned insides.

We had a quick dessert of seasonal pumpkin cupcakes filled with cream cheese frosting.

Then had to rush to return our rental car and catch our flight home. We were almost going to be late but it ended up our flight was delayed so we made it on time. We sat next to the wing and engine again and Simon slept through most of the flight. He woke up during landing when we hit a bump but that was all. I hope flying is always this easy with him.

Simon is not eating much solid food these last few days. He only likes to eat puffs he can pick up with his own hands and avocado that I feed him. So tonight we finally decided to try some peas and corn. He didn’t enjoy pureed peas but we thought he might like picking up and eating an actual pea. He seemed okay with it but still wasn’t quite sure how to eat it. This is only a video of the peas (and sorry it is sideways, I forgot to flip the camera) and we added corn kernels later.

After our weekend away from home, Simon fell right to sleep in his own bed, hugging is pal Pooh.

Simon’s 1st vacation: Southern California – Day 4

Day 69

It is our last day in Southern California, our last day to enjoy some good Chinese/Taiwanese food.  It seemed like Simon had a good night’s rest so was active this morning.  He’s all smiles!


This onesie is from Auntie Betty.  “I still live at home”… obviously!  But hilarious!


For lunch we went to Arcadia to SinBala for some Taiwanese food.


Their menu includes many variations of Chinese sausage.  We ordered one with basil (and some sweet sauce) and one with wasabi.  Basil was delicious.  Wasabi was interesting… but pretty good.



This is spicy dry wonton.  I didn’t like this because I didn’t think it had much flavor, just kind of bitter with red chili flakes.


My favorite ba-wan.  Not enough filling in my opinion but decent.


Green onion pancake.  Very crispy, yet oily.  Not much green onion flavor but the crispiness made up for it.


I forget what this is called, a steamed dish with meat, mushrooms, boiled egg, and a salty sauce.  Ron’s favorite but not something I like that much.


After lunch we went to visit  the California Institute of Technology since we had never been on the campus before.  I had seen it earlier off the freeway so just wanted to check it out.  When I was in high school, I really wanted to go there since I was getting really into computers and they had an excellent student to professor ratio.  Sadly I was rejected but it was all for the better.  Berkeley was great and it is where I met to love of my life and now we have Simon!


An interesting feature at the school is this pond made up of stones from one of their old buildings.  It has turtles and koi plus a few ducks.  The turtles were coming out of the water to sunbathe as the weather was getting warmer.


Our last stop before heading home was Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain in Pasadena.  The nerdy pharmacist in me just wanted to check out a traditional pharmacy and soda fountain.  It actually wasn’t what I expected.  The pharmacy is in one part of the store with a small OTC retail section.  The soda fountain is in the front, right at the street corner with a retail section of things like Curious George, Betty Boop, cards, books, candies, etc.  We decided to sit down anyways and have a malt shake: pistachio nut.  One shake was enough to split into two glasses so Ron and I shared.  It was nice and creamy, delicious fresh whipped cream, but not super spectacular and a bit expensive ($5.95).  Maybe I had my hopes too high.  But now I can saw I’ve been to a traditional pharmacy and soda fountain.


We decided to leave in the afternoon since I think all of us were tired and ready to be home and rest.  Simon seems to do great in the car, I wonder how he will be on a plane?  That will be his next vacation when we go to Hawaii in October.