Action-pack Friday

It’s the long weekend. The kids have Friday and Monday off. I thought I would have an easy Friday but I was wrong.

I made all three meals for the kids and Mr. O — pancakes, quesadillas, garlic noodles and shaking beef. I did three hampers full of clothes, wash-dry-fold. I dropped off a whole bunch of clothes at the cleaner for Mr. O. Then took the kids to the park. While they rode their scooter I snuck in a bit more than a mile of walk to get some steps. The park is next to the library so we returned books and picked up 28 more. That’s enough to fulfill their reading needs for two weeks. They read for more than an hour in the afternoon, then I let them have their games for another hour while I was making dinner and folding laundry.

Mr. O texted to say that he would leave work at 4 pm but didn’t come home until 5:30 pm. Dinner was great; garlic noodles and shaking beef were well received. Mr. O wanted to take the kids out for some sweet dessert but they wanted to save that for tomorrow and traded that for a movie at home; movie without popcorns. While they watched their movie I went about my way to clean the kitchen and the bathroom. Oh man, I hate cleaning the bathroom. It’s actually Mr. O’s job but he has been so busy lately and too exhausted from work so I do it for him whenever he is unable to carry on his share of labor. I am such a good wife. 😍😃🤩

Talking about movie, they wanted to see Aladdin tomorrow in the theater. I am a bit iffy about it but they like Will Smith so I guess I will give it a go.


Out in the field

Today I volunteered as one of the many parent chaperons for Peanut’s class field trip. The class went on a nature walk at a nearby canyon. It was a cold and gloomy morning but the kids had no problem having fun. The group was divided into six sub groups and each had a guide to teach us about many native and evasive plants as well as identifying poison oak. We also learned about animal tracks and how wood-rats could take 25 years to build their homes. The kids were so into these fascinating facts that made a two-hour hike flied by very quickly.

I was a bit exhausted going up and down the steep incline of the canyon but I got my 10K steps in for the day.

Book worms

Peanut has been fascinated by a book about Vietnamese folklores that I bought at a Tết Festival in MN five years ago. We have moved two times since then but I still keep it with us hoping that the boys will read it from first to last page. PP went through it a year or two ago and Peanut had shown no interest until this week. Every single chance he got for reading he would pick that book up and lugged it around with him, from the toilet to the living room to reading during snack time to bedtime reading.

Once he finished he told me that these stories are fascinating but not realistic, but he found them interesting enough to love his Vietnamese culture.

My children read more books and have more general knowledge than I was at their ages. I don’t remember what kind of books that fascinated me at age 6 and 9. I was so deprived of good books back then even though I loved to read. It’s an entirely a different world. I am glad that my children also have a knack for reading and are avid readers. The random things that they learned and then shared with each other and with us make me happy for them. Reading will help them expand and explore a greater world out there, and more importantly they will arm with more knowledge and information to form their own worldview.

when popcorn could easily solve the problem better than I could

Peanut gave me two hours of tantrum-marathon this afternoon. It all began with me expressing kindness to a kid, let’s call him MK, with whom Peanut has some differences. He isn’t fond of the MK, and even though they are in the same grade, they aren’t in the same class. Peanut does not usually play with MK after school, and they aren’t that close knit.  About three weeks ago, MK and his sister (PP’s 3rd grade classmate) came to borrow my phone to call their mom who didn’t show up at school to pick them up. It was raining, so I talked to the mom and offer to give the kids a ride home since they live two blocks away from us. That’s when I began noticing and observing them, and through a few snippets of conversation here and there, I have developed an empathy for them.

Today the sister came and asked me for a ride home again because it was raining and their mom was in the middle of doing something at home (we have had a lot of rain in SD this month). A small argument took place between Peanut and MK during the ride, and although I could not see from the rearview mirror, MK smacked Peanut in the eye or forehead (info came to me from Peanut) claiming that Peanut touched his hair. I was trying to defuse the tension while driving by asking both to be nice, and I was critical of Peanut a little bit. After I dropped off the kids, Peanut began to cry and said that I love other kids than I love him by taking their side and not his.

Certainly it was such a fallacy, but I couldn’t logically reason with him when he was that upset.

But anyway, to make a two-hour marathon of tantrum into short verses, Peanut accused me of faking my love for him. Everything about me loving him has been a lie, and I did it for his money.


Yes, he said that. I am still befuddled at what he truly meant or whether or not he understood the meaning of what he said.

I wanted to laugh, but I held myself back.

Nevertheless, I stayed so calm for two hours. Two freaking hours that drained most of my energy. But I remained calm, and logical. I invited him to lie down with me on his bed, I let him wail and cry, I stroked his back and massaged his forehead. I possibly did everything I could…to calm myself down and not let my anger override my reasoning.

It was hard.



He stopped crying, snorted out a large quantity of nasal mucus from two hours of nonstop crying, he turned towards me and hugged me back, and then asked me if he could have popcorn.


If I had known all he wanted was to have popcorn then I didn’t have to spend two hours with blood pressure running high, and was about to have a stroke trying to deal with his tantrums.

It seemed like he has a light switch somewhere in his head that he could easily turns it on and off as he please, leaving me in a puddle of anxiety-induce state of mind trying to decode and reconfigure how to help him process his anger and worries.

Just like that, popcorn solved the problem. I became irrelevant.


sweet indulgence

Mr. O took a 6 a.m. flight for a two-day and one-night trip in Chicago. He is presenting a workshop tomorrow and will fly back right after the conference. The boy took advantage of the General’s absence and asked for their favorite dinner, Vietnamese-style egg omelette with rice and blanched vegetables and crunchy fresh cucumber slices. So I indulged them.

I also made some cupcakes as well. It’s a full-fledge indulgence right there. PP said that we had a poor man’s dinner and a fancy man’s dessert.

The boys came to the kitchen and stayed in front of the oven to keep an eye on the cupcakes. Before long, they began to goof off.

Cupcakes and warm milk — a nice touch before reading/bed time.