Archive for » July, 2011 «


Hubby and I roll out of bed at 7:30AM on Sunday morning, woke our 10 year old, and tip toed downstairs quietly. It was our baby’s birthday. And it is our family tradition to serve breakfast in bed on birthdays.

And this was not just any breakfast, but Krispy Kream doughnuts! Our baby’s favorite. As I worked on the doughnuts, hubby and my 10-year-old brought out the balloons and presents from hiding. I carefully cut up two doughnuts, and used frosting to glue the two doughnuts together to make a perfect figure “8”.

Doughnuts are usually banned for obvious reasons. Today, they helped us scream this message to our baby: “You are so special today!! We are happy to give you food that we know is bad for you.”

Tasterbach woke up with a big grin by the sound of our energetic Happy Birthday song. As soon as the candle was blown out, a frenzy of hugs and kisses showered upon the baby, then hubby and I got busy with snapping pictures and video taping. The baby chowed down both doughnuts, and opened presents.

The Big 8!

The kids spent most of the morning in their Pjs, playing with the new Super Mario Bros DS game, and eating doughnut holes from the UN-authrozied box of Krispy Kream that hubby shouldn’t have brought home.

Krispy Kream!

Then it was time for lunch. “Tasterbach, what do you want for lunch? You are the boss today.” me.

“I want to eat doughnuts for lunch.” Tasterbach issued the order without hesitation.

If we had been ordinary parents, we might talk the baby out of it, or simply point to the left over doughnuts still sitting on our kitchen island. Oh no! We are super hero level parents. We told the kids to get dressed, and packed everyone into the car, and drove 10 miles to Psycho Donuts.

I remembered Psycho Donuts from the local news channel a couple of years ago. It caught my attention, because I knew the founder. We used to work for the same company. Psycho Donuts features over-the-top scarey and wacko themed donuts. This was perfect, because our baby has a fondness for zombies, vampires, and monsters.

We were not disappointed. I ordered myself the “Dead Elvis”, it has peanut better, banana, and bacon on the doughnut.

Dead Elvis

I have always wanted to eat beacon with my doughnut. The baby ordered the “Cereal Killer”.

Cereal Killer

The four of us bought 4 donuts, drinks, and ate at the counter table as if donuts are meant to be consumed as lunch.

We spent the afternoon watching the nail biting and disappointing World Cup Women’s Soccer game. I fully anticipated team USA to perfect the special day with a joyful win. But Team Japan did not cooperate. They put up a fierce fight, and clenched the title.

By then, I was looking forward to Alexander’s. To those of you familiar with the previous post, this was how we decided on this restaurant.

Me to hubby, “I can’t talk Tasterbach out of Alexander’s. I tried for a whole week.”

Hubby to me, “Better make a reservation at Alexander’s then.”

The next day.

Hubby to me, “Did you make a reservation at Alexander’s?”

Me to hubby, “Yeah.”

Truth be told, our baby did not chose Alexander’s to act adult-like and be cute about it. The kid really loves bloody steaks! Tasterbach devoured an 8 oz medium-rare steak with little assistance from the rest of us.

And to my delight, our waiter brought us a free birthday dessert to help us celebrate the occasion.

Free Birthday Dessert

Well, I am happy to report that we survived the baby’s birthday…no sugar comas, no heart attacks.

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Category: Kids, Parents  2 Comments

My baby is growing up by leaps and bounds…during just the last week.

The baby will turn 8 this coming Sunday. About a week or so ago, on a quiet evening, I asked, “Tasterbach! Your birthday is coming up. Where would you like to go for dinner on your big special day?”

Without looking up, and still busy thumbing on the Nintendo DS game, “Alexander’s.”

ALEXANDER’S!!? That is probably the most expensive steakhouse in town! The town being the whole San Francisco Bay Area. Such a formal dining choice for a young child.

“Alexander’s? That place is WAY expensive for a kid birthday”, me with eyes wide open.

“I want Kobe steak for my birthday.” Tasterbach insisted.

We took the kids to this restaurant before, and I made the grave mistake of feeding slices of my juicy steak to them.

I began to regret opening this can of worms, as my mind flashed into the future, when my baby is 16, and my teenager pops into the family room bursting with pride, deposits a brand new driver’s license in my lap, and demands a Porsche to go with it.

Why can’t the kid just smack me with the nauseating, but age appropriate choice of Chuck E. Cheese’s!

Everyday, I made at least one attempt to convince the baby to change the proposed venue.

“Hey! How about Benihana’s? ” me

Tasterbach threw me an unimpressed look from the back seat of the car.

“Remember we went there for Daddy’s birthday? The guys wear tall hats cook right in front of you!” me.


“Remember they made the onion volcano? Oh, and the flying shrimp!” me trying real hard.

“But I don’t like to eat their food.” Tasterbach stated flatly.

“Hey, they give you free dessert on your birthday. And they all come and sing to you.” me, continue to pitch Benihana’s.

From the rear view mirror, I can see my baby crossed both arms, and gave me a look that flatly said, NO.

“Alexander’s will definitely not sing happy birthday for you. And they probably will not give you free dessert.” me.

I am certain Alexander’s wanted nothing to do with an 8 year old. They don’t even bother to offer a kid’s menu, even though they have menus and wine lists the size of a small photo album.

I just came to the realization that my persuasions only served to convince my stubborn child that Alexander’s is the only choice for a special birthday meal.

It is now Tuesday evening, and I still have not made a dinner reservation for Sunday night. I am still struggling with my two choices:

Choice A: Starting saving now to buy a Porsche in 8 years.

Choice B: Looking into those big brown eyes, and tell the baby, “You are very special, just not Alexander special.”

Here is my previous related post: Kotofuku V

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My family has a habit of going to Huntington Beach to celebrate 4th of July, and this past weekend was no different.

Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade

Every 4th of July, this Surf City hosts an all-day celebration that has its streets jam-packed with visitors not just here for the sand and beach, but for its annual 4th of July parade, free live music entertainment, and fireworks right off its pier.

My mother-in-law has a lovely condo practically right on the sand, within easy stroll to the waves of the pacific, the pier, and the lively main street full of trendy restaurants and shops.

Beach Condo

We can simply leave our car in the parking garage for 3 days, walk to the parade, walk to restaurants, and best of all, 5 or 10 minutes before the fireworks start, we simply walk out of the condo with our beach chairs, plop down somewhere in front of the pier, watch the fireworks, and walk back home to sleep, leaving the massive crowd to hike to their cars, and sit in bad traffic to get back home. This is by far the most stress-free way for us to view the 4th of July fireworks–if we ignore the 6 hours drive to get to Huntington Beach.

The city closes its major streets along the beach to get ready for its 10AM parade. We woke up at 8:00AM, to bring our beach chairs to claim front row seats on the parade route. As we sat there sipping our coffee, and eating donuts waiting for the parade to start, we were entertained by bikers and runners often dressed in patriotic attire taking advantage of the open street.

5k Runner

The parade started almost promptly at 10AM, and for two hours, the streets were lined with troops of marching bands, cheerleaders, fire engines, soldiers in camouflage uniforms, Humvees, old styled cars, tall horses, and even miniature horses all decked out in cheerful red, white, and blue.

Huntington Beach High Cheerleaders

Old Car

Fire Truck

Skater Float

WWII troop

Miniture Horse

All were cheered on by spectators waving American flags that crowded both sides of the street. With the majestic Pacific Ocean as the parade’s backdrop, and soaring show-planes in the skies, a sense of patriotic pride was abundant in this beach town.

Jets in the air

After the parade, we had all American burgers and hot dogs lunches purchased from the street vendors by the pier, and spent the rest of the afternoon building sand castles, and catching nice waves with our boogie boards. And then spent way too much time in the pool.

After dinner at a sea-view restaurant, we joined the crowd on the Main Street, holding on to ice cream cones, which we licked fast.

Huntington Beach Main Street

Just before 9PM, we each took a beach chair, and walked out to the beach. We had no trouble finding an empty spot for ourselves by the pier even though it was packed, thanks to the massiveness of sandy Huntington Beach. I loved seeing the fireworks close, when the fireworks exploded into an expanding ball of bright colors, it felt as if you can just reach up and touch it.

Fireworks off of the pier

The next morning, the beach was peaceful and quiet, only a few surfers could be seen on the waves. We packed into our car, and spent the day driving back home.

Peaceful morning on the beach

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