Archive for » March, 2013 «

I had been suffering from Bubble Pop addiction. It is one of the games that found its way onto my cell phone.

The Bubble Pop game on my phone

Admittedly, this is too silly a game to even warrant a description. But I was incredibly fond of it. Every waking idle moment, I found myself reaching for my phone to play Bubble Pop.

There was one other reason that I favored this game above others. This was the only game that I can consistently beat both of my kids at. Yes, they beat me at all other games. They would often hold up the phone proudly in my face showing off their enviable scores on that cursed Temple Run game. (Temple Run used to be my favorite).

Just the other day…

“Hey! Look at my High Score!” me, as soon as my 12-year-old got into the car after school.

“WOW! 624.” 12-year-old.

“Yeah. Didn’t you get a 152 yesterday after school?” me turning to the back seat to look at the kid.

12-year-old stared back at me shame-faced. I smiled, then added, “Even Tasterbach can get into the 300s.” I handed my phone to my 12-year-old, and proceeded to drive to my 9-year-old’s school.

We drove in silence.

“Mom. If I beat your high score. Will you buy me an ice cream sundae?” 12-year-old.

“We are talking about Bubble Pop, right?” me.

“Yes.” 12-year-old.

“Sure! I will buy you a huge banana split.” me, “It will be so delicious….ha, ha, ha…”

In a few minutes’ time…

“678.” 12-year-old.

“No way!” me.

“Really! Look!” the kid reached from the back, and showed me the score on the phone.

My jaw dropped.

“How do you do it! You barely EVER reach 300!” me, “UNBELIEVABLE!!!” I was screaming inside the car. The kid was laughing and cheering wildly. Adolescents are so obnoxious.

I took the kids to Baskin-Robbins to fulfill the promised reward.

The kids were eating and giggling uncontrollably, probably overdosing from the sugar high.

I fretted with my phone. Every now and then, I eyed these kids with a degree of contempt, as they ate the sundae. I was also very worried about ever beating the new high score of 678, and being dethroned for good from Bubble Pop.

“I LOVE Bubble Pop. Here, let me play it again.” 12-year-old.

I handed the phone over.

“You are insanely lucky! I can’t believe that you made me an impossible bet, and actually won.” me.

“Oh look. 1211.” 12-year-old, held the phone to my face again.


“I changed the settings on your game, mom.” 12-year-old.

“What settings?! There are settings on my game?” me. I have been playing it for months!

“Yes. I changed the setting, so I can get high scores very easily.” 12-year-old grinning.

The 9-year-old hurled out more laughter with two streaks of melting ice cream running down her chin. Not cute.

“Remember that time when I got 5 million points on Temple Run 1?” 12-year-old.

“Yeah, you showed it to everyone.” me.

“There was a bug in that game. I found a trick to play it where my little running person never had to die.” said the smarty pants.

“WHAT? Why didn’t you share that trick with me? I would love to play that game never having to die off.” me.

“They fixed that bug now. Can’t do it anymore.” 12-year-old, “But I can get you 1500 points on your bubble game!”.

I have since been cured of my Bubble Pop addiction.

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Category: Humor, Kids, Parents  One Comment

See this face?

Yucky Food Face

This is the stinky face I get just about every time I tried to introduce a new flavor to my now 12-year-old.

“Oh, this is just a phase. Every kid have them. They will grow out of it.” These were the comforting words our pediatrician gave me every time I bring this up during our doctor visits.

Unless I am growing a giant redwood tree, you just can’t call 12 years a “phase”!

This kid will very soon outgrow the kids menu, but still greets most food with the same repulsive expression

Hate New Food Face

on her now adolescent face, with an added gesture of a thumbs down.

When we go to restaurants, they must entertain her with the choices of Mac-n-Cheese, Plain Cheese burger, Cheese Pizza, Pasta with butter sauce, bread and butter, and milk.

Miraculously, my tween has managed to grow to my height despite her severely limited diet.

Recently, even the restaurants we frequented have began to hand her the regular menu.

“Can I have the kids menu?” the 12-year-old would tell our waitress with a winsome smile.

Winsome Smiling Face

The waitress would return with the kids menu and a box of crayons.

“Look!” my 12-year-old would point at the menu, “It says 12 and under.”

“What happens in a few months, when you turn 13?” me.

“I will eat off of her plate.” pointing at our 9-year-old.

Just the other night, after the kids are in bed. I lamented to my husband, “We need a plan to get her to eat grown-up food…”


I decided a bit of drama is necessary to engage my husband in yet another round of discussion concerning our firstborn’s eating habit, so, I started, “I worry. She grows up. A nice young man takes her on a date to a nice restaurant. She feeds off of the kids menu, and scares him away.”

“Hey! Some men appreciate a cheap date!” hubby.

“FINE! You just sit tight and keep waiting for this phase to end then.” me.

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Once in a while, my body craves a sinister burger. The kind that is juicy and drippy with ketchup, mayonnaise, ranch dressing… uh, and thick pieces of bacon….

Homemade all natural burger

That mood struck me yesterday. But don’t count on me to pick up my car keys, and drive out to the nearest McDonald’s. Oh, no. I prefer much more trouble to eat a burger. I took a short drive to one of my favorite local market, and picked up fresh ingredients to make a healthy burger dinner for the whole family.

Now, don’t interrupt the word healthy as non-fat or even low-fat burger. Because that would be silly! If I want to eat a burger, then bring on the fat.

My idea of a healthy home cooked burger just meant fresh and organic ingredients. Such as organic red leafy butter lettuce, tomato, avocado, and onion.

All organic fixings

Then I pile these goodness onto these wholesome organic wheat thin sandwich buns, spread with organic mayonnaise and ranch dressing.

Thin wheat buns and organic dressing

I also bought over a pound of all natural 100% grass fed ground beef.

The burger is an incredibly easy meal to make. It mostly require some washing, and the only thing to that needs a bit of work is the beef.

I simply added salt and pepper to the beef, and added some finely chopped garlic. Then added a beaten egg with Worcestershire sauce to the beef mixture.

All natural beef

I rolled the beef mixture into a ball, then flatten the patties out, and cook the patties on my stove. I add slices of cheese to the burger just before they are done, so the cheese are nicely melted.

I also pan fried slices of thick cut bacon to add to the burger.


Homemade gourmet burger is ready to be served!

I served the burger with a side of broccoli sauteed with garlic, making it into a yummy and guilt-free meal.

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As tradition dictates, I flew home a few weeks ago to celebrate Chinese New Year with my parents. As soon as I landed at the Burbank Airport, I was promptly whisked away. Upon arrival, my parents’ home was already in full swing with the business of the Chinese New Year merry making. A round of greeting with relatives, shuffling red envelops, then we were free to concentrate on eating grand meals.

I happily complied with the demands of the festivities, and spent the entire weekend engaged in around-the-clock eating parties with my family.

I did manage to steal away some time to admire my dad’s miniature Chinese garden. If you had read my previous blog “The Coolest Retirement Hobby”, you would know that he had designed and built this miniature garden entirely himself. It is his pride and joy. His garden was even featured on the major local Chinese Newspaper a few years ago. He was immensely pleased that the coverage was nearly an entire page, and featured in full color with pictures of himself and his garden. A copy of the newspaper had been framed, and prominently placed in the dining room. He also bought very many copies of that edition of the newspaper and sent them off to family and friends. Here is my still well preserved copy.

This project has been many years in the making, and is forever expanding. Every time I visit, I can be certain he will have new additions to show me.

This time, I was surprised to see a more modest set of old China village homes and shops popping up behind his more imperial looking gardens, and building structures.

Old China Village

His retirement hobby has many admirers, especially me. My Chinese name has been carved on a few of his best work. Who wouldn’t like to have their names enshrined onto monuments! (Yes, even very small ones) He even constructed this charmed bookstore in honor of my

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