the battle that I was willing to lose

Conversation between me and Peanut…

Me: Khalam, did you or did you not take the pen from my drawer?
Peanut: Noooooohhhhh! *feigning innocence*

Interrogation continued…

Me: Khalam, what did you do with the pen?
Peanut: I don’t know!

This is him pleading the fifth. :D

Me: Khalam, how many times Mẹ told you not to draw on your face?
Peanut: Con thương Mẹ, I love you, Mẹ, are you happy?
Me: …. (words failed me; I toss the white flag to surrender!)

No matter how much I tried and resisted from laughing, this little guy cracked my code, and I gave in, rather willingly, to his strategic approach of winning the battle. He knows that when he speaks in Vietnamese, my heart just melt. Winning!

He later told me that he wanted to be a tiger, hence the black stripes on the face.

when i need inspirations (photos heavy!)

Somehow today Mr. First-born was thrill about posing for me as we walked around the park earlier this evening. He was so enthusiastic that I was surprised at how much he got into the character, and even suggested at different poses for me to capture.

Wow, he looks more like a man now, no longer a boy, or a 10-pound baby that I gave birth to almost six years ago.

This black and white photo is my favorite, the way he connected to me, the way his eyes talked…so handsome!



These boys fight each other at least 100 times a day, but then they also make up and love each other dearly. PP has already told me that he will miss fighting with Peanut when he goes to school after his 6th birthday. I hope their love for each other, despite moments of sibling rivalry, will continue and last for many more years to come.

Mustard green flowers | hoa cải

Mid-July with high temperatures caused my broad-leave mustard greens to bolt up overnight, leaving me with an eye-pleasing mini field of yellow flowers. Prior to that, I harvested two rounds of leaves for my cooking, from which I made braised vegetarian pot of mustard greens, shiitake mushroom, green beans, and fried tofu. I ate that pot for a whole week with my brown rice because no one else wanted a share of it. But that was more than two weeks ago before the July 4th weekend because I indulged myself during the holidays and friend’s visit and basically blew up from free-eating.

O has left again this morning to return to his post in Big Sky Country. He will be there until Thursday then take another flight to DC for a meeting before coming home late Friday. My husband, a person who has fear for air-traveling, is collecting all the mileages he could have. And I am, who loves to travel, is being held captive at one place. Ironic!

I have been going through this short period of lacking inspiration. I really have! The lack of regular blog posts is a sign of it. It will come back to me, I know it, but for now, I will go with the flow.

Mấy ngày nay trong lòng bồn chồn. Biết tin buồn của một chị bạn làm mình cũng buồn theo cho dù không phải người trong gia đình. Nhưng nỗi đau nào cũng làm cho mình rã rời thân xác và tâm trí, vì mất đi một người thân là một cơn ác mộng nó cứ vương vấn quấn quít vào mình. Cố lên chị, cố lên!

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Steve Job.