With Mom and Dad in Ireland until next week, we decided to have a wild party in their absence. Well, not really…
Bill and I flew in to SJC Friday evening. (it’s gosh-darned convenient to have that flight) James picked us up and we stopped at a Chinese restaurant near their apartment to pick up some food to-go. This restaurant just opened and we decided to give it a try. It’s a Hong Kong/Cantonese style restaurant, it’s small, and they say their specialty is a garlicky steamed crab. We didn’t order the crab, as it’s really out of season and therefore expensive, but we did order a few staples: salt and pepper pork chops, walnut prawns, beef chow fun and fried rice. The food was delicious but a little more expensive than a similar restaurant in Newark. It’s just convenient being walking distance from their apartment. We had most fun making fun of all the grammatical and spelling errors in their menu and signage. A banner out front advertised that their chef is “…world renounced from Hong Kong…” One of the specials was “stripper bass.” Bill and James have joked on many occasions how they could do pretty well offering a service correcting spelling, grammar and basic clarifications in English translations for Asian restaurants. I don’t think it’s a bad idea… Any thoughts?
Saturday morning James had Logan for the morning so Kristen could sleep in. He took Logan to the farmer’s market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Bill and I took Kristen out to breakfast at Dino’s Family Restaurant. I enjoyed piping hot and fluffy pancakes again. I’m really starting to like this place. Almost everyone took a nap when Logan did, except for me. I went to my parent’s house to help Patrick with dinner. Patrick felt like cooking for all of us, so I helped him with the shopping and prep. After Logan woke up, we played in the backyard and then had a wonderful dinner. Since Mom and Dad have my camera in Ireland, I borrowed Michael’s kick-ass camera for the weekend. Between me, Michael and Bill, we snapped almost 1000 photos. We all are of the philosophy that the more photos you take, the higher your chances that some of them will turn out nice. I think we got a few good ones.
Bill gave Logan a small jetBlue airplane that he really loved to play with. You push a button on top and lights on the engines blink and it makes sounds like an airplane taking off. It goes about ten seconds longer than what’s annoying.
I was told that he would wait until the noise stopped to hit the button again…
Over and over and over.
Blowing bubbles is something Logan really likes and I try to make sure we have some at our house and Mom and Dad’s house. Thankfully, they’re really cheap.
Unfortunately, when he tries to blow bubbles, he ends up trying to eat the wand. He hasn’t quite figured out the technique yet.
We’ve found that it’s really adorable to give Logan a flower and ask him to give it to Mommy. He almost always does, but with silly attitude. One time he tried to throw the flower to Kristen… like it was a waste of his time.
Here I gave him a bright orange lily, hoping it would make for a potentially nice photo.
His first reaction was to try and smell the flower… and he proceeded to get dark brown pollen all over his mouth.
And he wouldn’t let me wipe it off!
After he gave the flower to Kristen, we had to chase him town to wipe is face. It was hilarious.
For dinner, Patrick thinly sliced a pork tenderloin and made scallopine. He cooked it perfectly too. He also made pasta primavera with orange and yellow bell peppers, green beans and onions. And I made a crunchy salad with spinach, carrots, edamame, onions, macadamia nuts, toasted & slivered almonds and diced tomatoes with a basalmic vinegarette. All of it was really delicious. Sorry, this is the best photo I got. Taking pictures of the food was kind of and afterthought… we were really hungry.
After dinner, we played with bubbles again.
And he actually managed to blow some small bubbles… there was a lot of spit in there too. But he finally figured it out.
Here he’s tickling Sara’s toes after giving her a daisy. (no more lilies for him…)
He had a lot of energy after dinner, so we worked hard to get all the giggles out. I’m chasing him here because his pants were falling down… and I wanted to pull them up.
Instead he thought it was better to just pull them down completely…
And try to walk… I nearly fell over laughing.
He really seemed to enjoy exploring Dad’s backyard. And it was nice for all of us to be able to let him run around relatively freely.
Here he’s showing us where his butt is.
When James started playing Guitar Hero, Logan wanted a guitar too. I asked him to smile, and he gave me his fierce smile… kind of looks like a rock star.
When it was time to get him ready for bed, Kristen took off his pants and diaper. This sparked a frenzy of energy, so he ran a few laps through the house. It was really funny… especially as he’d run by scratching his exposed bottom.
If only we all had that kind of energy just from being naked.
Eventually he settled down and showed some interest in learning guitar… perhaps the next generation of the Naked Cowboy…?
Kristen was able to sneak some PJs on him while he was distracted.
After Logan went to sleep, we put away the guitars and broke out the Nintendo Wii for some Wii Sports. Kristen proceeded to kick Michael’s butt at boxing.
Then she kicked James’ butt. Then we switched to bowling, where James beat everyone.
We had a great time and it was nice to be able to put Logan to bed at his normal time in Mom and Dad’s bedroom. That way both James and Kristen could stay and play well past… 8pm!
Sunday morning we met up with James and Kristen and the kid for breakfast. Alvin joined us as well. We ate at the Cabrillo Park Cafe on Thornton Ave in Fremont. (about a block up from Thornton Jr. High) It’s just a family-run American diner-style restaurant with kitchy-white-suburban decor and an extensive breakfast menu. Bill and I both had the breakfast burrito with bacon. It was probably the best breakfast burrito I’ve ever eaten with all of the ingredients finely chopped and blended so I tasted every ingredient in every bite. Plus, the hash browns inside the burrito were actually crispy, as was the bacon. Very well done. The only negative comment I have is that it was too big. I was only able to eat half. Bill also ordered a biscuit with sausage gravy. While the gravy was no Bob Evans, (or Uncle Carl’s) it was really delicious. I’ll have to try the pancakes next time and compare them to Dino’s Family Restaurant. So, far, I’m liking this cafe better.
After his nap, I tried to get him to give me a genuine smile for the camera.
I suceeded! The trick is to ask him to say, “cheese.” Whodathunk?
Here he poses with “bun bun.”
He LOVES his bun bun, and that’s why they have three of them.
He’s very good at showing you where his hair is.
And his eyes…
And his ears. There are more, but I haven’t had a chance to go through all of them… there are over 800 just from Saturday!
For some reason, he felt the need to carry my purse while wearing Bill’s shoes. He shuffled around the living room for a while.
Kristen and I walked him over to the playground at Forest Park Elementary School while Bill, James and Alvin played more Guitar Hero.
He had a great time and we were so proud of him as he went down the big green slide. The last time I went to a park with him, he wasn’t a fan of slides. He went down the green slide at least a dozen times. He even got to a point where he threw a tantrum when Kristen tried to help him up the ladder. It was hilarious and cute and annoying all at the same time.
He got a little shy when another toddler wanted to day hi.
Then I thought I’d try and get him to go down the orange tunnel slide. Kristen thought he’d never try it, but I saw that he could see her at the bottom of the slide… and he went for it.
Over and over!
I have lots of photos from the slide. When I get a chance to make them all artsy in Photoshop, I’ll post more. I definitely have an appreciation for professional photographers who photograph children. You have to be patient and fast. Krista, I don’t know how you do it.
Bill and I had dinner with his parents at a local Chinese restaurant. I was talking to Laikwan about a supposed Chinese holiday that was happening that day. Sometimes it’s called the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival and it occurs on the 5th of the fifth month on the lunar calender. Bill and I are calling it the Chinese Tamale Festival. Bill never knew it was a holiday, he just knew that his mom and aunts got together this time of year to make “zong” the way Bill and Laikwan say it, it sounds more like “jung.” They consist of a mixture of cooked sticky rice and whatever combination of meat, nut or vegetable you prefer, wrapped in bamboo leaves and steamed. Laikwan said that there’s no traditional ingredient for the festival other than what was native to the region… as all of China celebrates this holiday. She normally uses pork or sausage, lotus seeds, dried mushrooms or tiny dried shrimp. There’s also a sweet version filled with red bean paste. I asked where the holiday originated and both Mark and Laikwan told me that it started with the suicidal drowning of a beloved patriot and poet sometime in the 3rd or 4th century. He was so dismayed by the dismal state of his country that he committed suicide. The people were so upset that they rushed to the river where he drowned and threw rice and other foods into the water to feed the fish… hoping the fish would eat the food instead of his body. Since then, people commemorate the day by eating the bamboo-wrapped packets of rice. For some reason, (I haven’t been able to find the connection) there are Dragon Boat races on this holiday. Maybe it’s a race to the spot where this poet died? I dunno. Here’s one link to explain the day. The Wiki page has some info too. It cracked me up that Bill never knew there was a holiday associated with the “tamales.” We have a bunch of them in our fridge, I’ll try and remember to take a picture.
There isn’t much going on this week. Patrick will fly down and spend the weekend with us. Plans are to begin prep work on the off-road terrain that once was our front lawn. (I feel bad for our neighbor who’s house is for sale. I hope potential buyers aren’t turned off by our lack of lawn.) We also have plans to re-paint the front of our house… so we will no longer be “the peach house with the large hibiscus in front.” We will become “the _____ house with the large hibiscus in front”. We haven’t picked a color yet. I try and remember to take before and after photos.