It’s Monday and I’m lagging behind!

itsmondayIt’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at Bookjourney to share with others what we’ve read the past week and planning to read next.




Last week has been a bit of a bust in terms of reading and blogging. And especially blogging. I managed a miserable two posts last week and they’re both memes so they don’t really count do they? I’ve instead been spending my screen time working on some other writing project. And it’s been a lot more demanding on my time than I expected!
But all sorts of things happened last week. My Wee Reader turned a grand old FOUR on Tuesday! I made him a chocolate cake because for weeks he had been talking about his “chocolate cake birthday” and decorated it with Cars edible stickers. He was thrilled to eat Lightning and Mater. My younger one was not impressed although he had fun laughing at his big brother who was having trouble blowing out the candles!
Most of you who read this blog and/or my Day in the Life post  know that I’m a stay-home mum. It hasn’t always been the easiest, although made easier by grandparents who are willing to fly for 20+ hours to visit us for two months at a time. But these two boys are my joy. So I cannot believe that he is four already! Some days he hardly seems like four. Saturday for instance, he starting crying for no apparent reason. And throughout the week he’s been a terror when it comes to mealtimes, when he’s usually quite good at eating and feeding himself. Some days he seems to prefer copying what his younger brother is doing instead of finding his own path. But other days he impresses me – and amuses me – by the very many things he can do and what he says. For instance, one not very good day, when it was all just too much for me and the littler one was screaming just for the fun of it, while I was trying to get them ready to go out to school. So I shouted at him. I know I shouldn’t have but I did. He was stunned and stopped his for-fun-screaming. Then his big brother told me, “don’t shout at didi. He’s very little.” And that made me tear up and give them both a big hug and kiss.
He’s a good kid this one. An excellent big brother (most of the time). Just today, we picked up some pastries from the Chinese bakery. He wanted one lotus seed paste pastry and so I grabbed one for him. But before we went to pay, he said that he had to get another one for his brother and did.
He’s a little introverted, but so was I (and still am) especially when it comes to new people and new situations. But when he’s with his friends he’s so loud and noisy you wouldn’t know that it was the same boy you first met. And he surprised me when I dropped him off at his new school (see below), he gave me a hug and went right in.
He loves cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets. But he also is a big fan of Brussels sprouts, broccoli and crispy kale. He loves to eat beef pho but picks at fried rice. He adores popcorn and oatmeal cookies but also is happy to eat prunes and dried cherries. He absolutely will not eat mushrooms. Or tomatoes except in spaghetti sauce. But I can do with him not eating tomatoes or mushrooms because he’s a kid who likes Brussels sprouts. But oh man is he the world’s slowest eater!
He is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts and used to be allergic to wheat and eggs. You wouldn’t know it today but he had such bad eczema before he was one. The kind that was crusty all over the face and arms and we would have to put really long socks on his hands so that he wouldn’t scratch. That didn’t really work. But thanks to his wonderful dermatologist and allergist, it’s all gone! He might have an occasional breakout (sometimes a sudden change in weather affects him) but eczema is no longer an issue.
It has been four years of ups and downs but I am very proud of my Finnian!
The day after his birthday he started at a new school. We had been thinking of putting him in a bilingual (Mandarin and English) preschool for a while but those we looked weren’t what we wanted. And really there weren’t that many in our town. There are others in the rest of the Bay Area but I didn’t want to drive too far. I love how this preschool is about a seven minute drive away. And it’s also opposite the library and the central park. Very important. He’s only had three days so far and this week is spring break, but he seems to be enjoying himself… I hope!


 The weekend kind of made up for the very busy week. With some always yummy sushi at our favourite Japanese restaurant in Milpitas. We also tried the Buckhorn Grill and I must say that those were some delicious beans! And among other things, I made ribs (in the slow cooker, then finished in the oven slathered with homemade barbecue sauce). And it’s not Sunday without pancakes. Oddly my younger one doesn’t like pancakes much. Or at least he didn’t today, until he was fed the pancakes with blackberries…







The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed a good chunk of this book but I’m in that later part of the book where things just get a bit weird and he’s trying to veer into a SF/Fantasy genre a bit. And while I love me some SF and fantasy, this one I don’t know about. I’m still reading it though.


Understanding Comics – Scott McCloud

I do a lot of reading on my tablet/Kindle but what I’ve been trying to do more of is reading physical books when my kids are around. I don’t want them to always see me on a device. They love reading books today and I’m hoping that as they grow older they will too.



Mad Men Season 6 – Season 7 is now available on Netflix but I felt the need for a refresher (and an excuse to watch it again).



A hot dog bun from Kee Wah.

Argh! The closest branch of this Hong Kong bakery with my favourite hot dog bun is closing!


Green tea


The husband has a work dinner on Monday so I’m just cooking noodles.

Other things to cook: nasi lemak or coconut rice with beef rendang. A baked pasta with spinach and sausage. Chicken rice and stir fried chinese vegetables



More water is used to grow almonds than used by all residents and businesses in San Francisco and Los Angeles combined. Sigh…

Jupiter is the Death Star (boing boing)

“Kaname Harada was once a feared samurai of the sky, shooting down 19 Allied aircraft as a pilot of Japan’s legendary Zero fighter plane during World War II. Now 98 years old and in failing health, the former ace is on what he calls his final mission: using his wartime experiences to warn Japan against ever going to war again.” More at the New York Times

Now I feel the need for some mini skillet pans. Just so I can make these frittatas

But I am definitely going to make this Brussels Sprouts and potato gratin soon! It might be because it’s a slightly chilly day today and I’ve got my thick socks on.

Last week:

I read:


Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie





The Sculptor – Scott McCloud

I hope you have a great week ahead. Happy reading!


  1. Happy birthday to your little one. Being a stay-at-home mom is never easy, but it looks like you’re doing a great job of it. 🙂


  2. Happy Birthday to Wee Reader! I remember making David a Lightning McQueen cake too. Boys seem to really love that movie!

    I hope you have a great week!


  3. Happy birthday to your son! I love that there are edible Cars stickers – mine would have loved them when he was younger. And your son loves Brussel sprouts! That is very impressive. My youngest is 11 and we still have trouble getting him to eat any vegetable.


  4. Love this long post about Finnian. He sounds so wonderful. That protective phase of their little siblings is so touching, even more so for me looking back on it and realising that sometimes they grow out of it.


    1. He is a sweetie. Of course there are plenty of times where they fight over the same little thing, especially when the younger one picks up a toy that has been sitting in front of Finnian (and he’s ignored it) and suddenly it’s the hot thing! Argh! But I try to remember those sweet moments such as the other day when my younger one was crying at night and Finnian said “it’s ok didi don’t cry”.


  5. Happy belated Birthday Wee Reader 🙂
    and you still manage to get in some reading while being a Mum so you must be doing a fab job.
    Hope to see you during the #readathon later this month.
    – Sharlene


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